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Special Report

Morningstar's Guide to Donor-Advised Funds

Here are the questions to ask to determine whether a donor-advised fund is right for you, and tips for choosing the right one.

Donor-advised funds are becoming an increasingly popular way to give money to charity. According to the 2018 Donor-Advised Fund report from the National Philanthropic Trust, these funds have reached record highs in terms of total grants to charities, dollars contributed by donors, assets in donor-advised fund vehicles, and total number of donor-advised funds.  

"One of the big things propelling the growth of donor-advised funds is how easy and convenient they are to use," notes Morningstar senior editor Karen Wallace. Some of the larger funds have web solutions that simplify the donating and granting process. They're also flexible in terms of the types of assets they'll accept. And of course, you can make donations to the account and receive immediate tax benefits and then disburse the money from the account according to your own timetable.

We've assembled a collection of articles to help you figure out if a donor-advised fund is right for you, and if so, how you can narrow the field. 

Is a Donor-Advised Fund Right for You?
A look at some of the pros and cons of these increasingly popular investment vehicles.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Donor-Advised Fund
Don't overlook these important considerations when selecting a donor-advised fund for charitable contributions.

How Does Fidelity Charitable's Investment Menu Stack Up?
We take a close look at the ongoing fees and underlying investment offerings of the largest donor-advised fund in the U.S.

A Closer Look at Schwab's Donor-Advised Fund
We examine Schwab Charitable's ongoing fees and underlying investment offerings.

Under the Hood at Vanguard Charitable
Vanguard Charitable's donor-advised fund has low fees and topnotch underlying investment offerings, but donation minimums are higher.