A popular route through which to make a significant social impact without the high costs or administrative hassle is through a donor-advised fund.
A donor-advised fund offers an individual the opportunity to create an easy-to-establish, low cost, flexible vehicle for charitable giving as an alternative to creating a private foundation or direct giving.
Donor-advised fund are managed by charitable organizations and are easy to set up, often with as little as $5,000. The tax benefits also make these funds popular. Individuals are allowed a federal deduction of up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income for cash donations and 30 percent for appreciated securities.
Aside from the tax savings and ease of establishing a fund, your buck has more bang. You’re pooling money with like-minded individuals, sharing the overhead expenses with all the other donors who support the charity.
There’s no magic grid for how to choose a fund, but with a little research, you can find one that matches your mission.