The Charitable Giving Program gives you the flexibility to choose how and when you support charities. You can easily recommend grants to charities from your Program account—either online, via mail, or by fax. You specify when the grant is made and the amount.

Grant to a wide range of charities

Make grant recommendations to U.S. public charities, private operating foundations, and certain governmental entities. Charitable causes supported by the Program include:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Human Services
  • Medicine and Science
  • Religious Activities
  • Other Innovative Charitable Undertakings

Before fulfilling a grant, the Program completes a due diligence process to confirm the charity's eligibility. You will receive a confirmation of all grants made by the Program per your recommendations.

Gain recognition for your charitable giving

A grant that you have recommended can:

  • Identify you as the donor-advisor
  • Include your address
  • Provide the name of your Program account (such as The Ward Family Fund)
  • Be made in honor of or in memory of another person

Or grants can be made anonymously.

Amount and number of charitable grants

The minimum grant amount is $100. The number of grants you can recommend in a given calendar year without an administrative fee is based on the total assets in your donor-advised fund account:

Assets in Program account Grants allowed per year*
Less than $250,000 10
$250,000—$499,999 25
$500,000—$999,999 50
Over $1,000,000 100

*A $10 fee is charged to your account for each grant over the scheduled allotment in a given calendar year. This fee covers administrative costs associated with grant-making.

Grant limitations

As a result of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, some supporting organizations are no longer eligible for a Program grant. Grants may not be used:

  • To fulfill any preexisting pledge
  • For lobbying, for political contributions, or to support political campaign activities
  • To benefit a specific individual, private foundation, or foreign charitable organization
  • To provide an impermissible benefit (for example, tuition, membership fees or dues, admission to events, discounts, and goods bought at charitable auctions) to any individuals or entities connected to a Program account

Certain incidental benefits, including token logo items such as mugs, key chains, or calendars, may be permissible.

The Program's Board of Directors has ultimate authority over grant activity, including the right to approve or disapprove grant recommendations. The Program may deny a grant recommendation if it appears that a charity's public support requirement would be substantially met as a result of Program grants.

The Program is required to make aggregate grant distributions equal to 5% of the Program's total assets (based on a five-year average). If this requirement is not met, the Program will ask donor-advisors of accounts that have not met the requirement on an individual basis to recommend grants and will make additional grants from such accounts if they fail to recommend qualified grantees.

If there is no grant activity in an account for five years, the Program will attempt to contact the donor-advisor to request that a grant recommendation be submitted. If notification efforts are unsuccessful or a grant recommendation is not forthcoming, the Program may determine that it is appropriate to transfer all or a portion of the account balance to the Program's General Giving Fund.