Donor-advised funds
Learn how to support the U of M using a donor-advised fund

A donor-advised fund is an account owned and administered by a public charity (called “the sponsoring organization”) to which a donor makes charitable contributions. The donor or designated representatives can then recommend grants from the fund to other public charities. 

How can I support the University through a donor-advised fund? 

Giving to the University of Minnesota from your donor-advised fund is simple. You can recommend a grant from your fund to the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) by providing the following information to the sponsoring organization:

  • Legal name: University of Minnesota Foundation
  • UMF federal tax ID: 41-6042488
  • Mailing address: 200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Name of the campus, college, program, or fund where the grant should be directed

Each sponsoring organization will have the appropriate forms to recommend these grants, which you can find online or by contacting the organization directly. Your sponsoring organization will distribute the grant directly to UMF.

If you have questions about the information you need to provide to the sponsoring organization of your fund, please contact Donna Semeja at d-seme@umn.edu.

What are the restrictions on recommending a grant from a donor-advised fund?

A donor-advised fund grant is subject to IRS charitable gift restrictions. The sponsoring organization probably won’t approve a recommendation for a grant from a donor-advised fund if any portion will be used to provide more than incidental benefits to the donor. For instance, grants cannot be used to pay for tickets to a fundraising event, gala dinner, or golf tournament.

IRS restrictions also prohibit grants from donor-advised funds that will be used to pay a donor’s binding pledge.

How can I share my plans to recommend a grant to the University over multiple years? 

If you plan to recommend multi-year grants from your donor-advised fund to the University, you can share your plans with us by completing our Donor-Advised Fund Grant form.

Are there other ways to give from a donor-advised fund?

Many sponsoring organizations of donor-advised funds allow donors to recommend specific charities to receive any assets remaining in the fund after they have passed away.  

To recommend the University of Minnesota Foundation to receive all or a portion of the remainder of your fund, please contact your sponsoring organization. You may need to provide UMF’s name, address, and federal tax identification number, listed above.

If you decide to recommend the University to receive the remainder of your donor-advised fund, we hope you will share your plans with us.

What are some tips for choosing where to set up a donor-advised fund?

Carefully review the sponsoring organization’s policies.

When you make a gift to a sponsoring organization to establish a donor-advised fund, you are irrevocably transferring assets to that organization and have only advisory privileges over grants to other charities.

Be sure you understand the sponsoring organization’s requirements and policies. Are there any restrictions on grant distributions, such as geographic, religious, mission, etc.? Does the organization allow you to transfer funds to another sponsoring organization in the future? It is important to choose a sponsoring organization that supports your values.

Consider the costs, investments and account requirements.

Fees charged by donor-advised funds can vary considerably. Make sure you understand what all the fees are. Are there set-up and termination fees? What is the annual administrative fee? What is the fund’s investment performance? Is there a minimum contribution amount or minimum account level?