Augusta Business Daily

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Thoughts from the General: DAFs, the fastest growing trend in charitable giving

Perry M. Smith, Jr.

Ten years ago, the book, Give and Take by Adam Grant, was published. It provided such profound wisdom that it has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people throughout the world. One of Grant’s most interesting insights is how he aligns people into three categories: takers, reciprocators, and givers.

This book made me realize that in recent years, my wife, Connor, and I had slowly changed from being reciprocators to being givers.

Soon after the flash of insight that I gained from Give and Take, I discovered Donor-Advised Funds. These funds are located at the Community Foundation for the CSRA. Shell Berry, who serves as the President and CEO of our local community foundation, explained to me the many benefits of these funds. I have become a true believer.

A Donor-Advised Fund is a really good deal for individuals, families, and our community. I feel like shouting on the rooftops to friends and strangers alike. “Establish a fund and do it now!”

Let me explain how this cool program works. Each year, you can pull some stocks out of your stock account.

Ours is held by Merrill Lynch. Bennett Yort is our broker. These stocks are sent electronically to the Community Foundation of the CSRA. The stocks are sold, and all of the funds are placed into the Perry and Connor Smith Fund. Since this transaction is a gift to a charitable foundation, I can declare it on my federal and state tax forms.

These funds are well invested by the Community Foundation and the value of the Perry and Connor Smith Fund grows each year. Of course, it is diminished whenever a contribution to a local charity is made. When considering both growth and contributions, this fund needs to be replenished only once per year.

Once these funds are in the Community Foundation, it is easy for me to send contributions to worthy causes. It simply takes an email message to the foundation. For instance, in the last few weeks, I have sent funds to the Boy Scouts, Saint Paul’s Church, Good Neighbor Ministries, The Augusta Museum of History, and RISE Augusta. Each transaction took less than five minutes on my computer.

The Augusta area is quite fortunate in that there are many families in fine financial shape. The generosity of these folks permits many good causes to thrive. Yet, the needs are great. I would like to encourage everyone reading this article to commit themselves in 2023, to give even greater support to their favorite charities.

Jeff Annis, the former owner of Advanced Services for Pest Control, dedicated a DAF in the amount of $500,000. Here is his story in ABD.

More Posts