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The purpose of giving options--private foundations, donor-advised funds, trusts, or others--is to transfer assets to charitable causes, but choosing the right vehicle for you and your mission can be a complex process. Rather than enter the debate over which giving tool is best, we encourage you to focus your decision-making on what best supports your preferences and giving goals--with an assessment of six key factors.
Rank each factor by importance to you (high, medium, low). Then, relate your priorities to the characteristics in the table below. If a giving option seems like a good fit for your preferences, click to learn more about its guidelines and benefits.
While comparing and contrasting your philanthropic options, keep in mind that many of them make excellent complements to one another. For example, a donor-advised fund can be used in conjunction with a private foundation to manage anonymous gifts or carve out assets that should be invested differently.
*In this table, tax efficacy refers only to the charitable deduction. For more details on other tax benefits and considerations for each giving option, refer to its respective page.
This information represents Vanguard Charitable's understanding of current tax regulations related to charitable giving. Consult a tax advisor regarding your own tax needs.
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