A Donor Advised Fund May Simplify Your Giving

Want to learn more about donor advised funds? View and download the FREE guide One-Stop Giving: The Convenience and Simplicity of Donor Advised Funds.

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Your financial and charitable goals are a reflection of your commitment to support the future of your loved ones, charitable organizations you value, such as SMU, and the greater community. You may find it difficult to keep track of the organizations you wish to support and the documents required to receive your benefits from charitable gifts.

A donor advised fund might provide you a convenient and easy way to organize and administer your charitable intentions. .

Here’s how it works:

  1. You open a donor advised fund with a written agreement at a community foundation or sponsoring organization.
  2. You can make contributions to your fund at any time. These contributions are invested by the sponsoring organization, which provides regular accounting to you.
  3. You make the recommendations about the amounts be distributed to qualified charitable organizations such as SMU, along with your directions for the use of that gift.
  4. Ask your fund administrator to request that you are recognized by the charities you support.
  5. You can turn your donor advised fund into a lasting legacy at SMU by naming SMU as a beneficiary of your account during your lifetime. If properly established, you might be able to name SMU as a beneficiary of funds remaining in the fund at your death.

When choosing where to set up your donor advised fund, be sure to choose the sponsoring organization carefully. You’ll want to make sure the one you select supports your values and allows you to designate a charitable recipient of the remainder. Take time to carefully read their policies and procedures and review their administration and investment fees.

How You Benefit From a Donor Advised Fund

  • You qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you make a gift to the fund.
  • You don’t have to retain records for each contribution administered by the fund.
  • Families can build a tradition of giving by involving children in the decisions about what grants to recommend.
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Learn How to Fund It

Create a donor advised fund with one of the following assets:

  1. Evaluate a sponsoring organization to make sure it supports your interests, values and the type of asset you are considering as a funding source.
  2. Get to know the organization's policies and procedures-from minimum contributions to administrative fees. Each organization handles these details differently.
  3. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
  4. Contact SMU's Office of Gift Planning at 214-768-1911 or giftplanning@smu.edu to discuss using donor advised funds to support SMU and our mission.
  5. If you include SMU in your plans, please use our legal name and Federal Tax ID.

Legal Name: Southern Methodist University
Address: P.O. Box 750402, Dallas TX 75275-0402
Federal Tax ID Number: 75-0800689

Want to learn more about donor advised funds? View and download the FREE guide One-Stop Giving: The Convenience and Simplicity of Donor Advised Funds.

View My Free Brochure

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Southern Methodist University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at P.O. Box 750402, Dallas TX 75275-0402, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SMU or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SMU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SMU as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SMU where you agree to make a gift to SMU and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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