American Endowment Foundation, the Nation’s Largest, Independent Donor Advised Fund Sponsor, Reports Banner Year

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America's Independent Donor Advised Fund reports increased contributions and grants in 2011

AEF reports the following:

  •     Contributions into donor advised funds surpassed $62 million in 2011, an increase of more than 30% from 2010. Assets in donor advised funds reached approximately $250 million - an all-time high in AEF’s 19-year history.
  •     The number of donor advised funds increased 22% to 1,300 during 2011, another record.
  •     The number of grants recommended from donor advised funds increased by more than 17%, with some 5,550 grants to other charities totaling $24 million.

“We are very pleased to reach these milestones as we enter our 19th year. Despite the uncertainty and volatility of these economic times, our donors are not only consistently increasing giving, but they are also increasing their charitable grantmaking,” said Phil Tobin, Chairman and Co-founder of AEF. “The ability of the donor advised fund solution to act responsively and meaningfully for the donor as a charitable reservoir, is a key factor in what makes this giving vehicle the most popular form of family philanthropy in America. Donor advised funds now outnumber private foundations by a factor of two to one,” says Tobin.

Reflecting AEF’s 4-star status for the past 10 years, Charity Navigator, the largest evaluator of charities in the country, ranks AEF on its list of the Top Ten Charities in the Country.
“AEF’s donor advised fund is a simple, tax wise alternative to a private foundation. Individuals contribute cash or a wide variety of appreciated assets (marketable securities, closely-held securities, real estate, life insurance policies and the like). The contributed assets are placed into an investment account which, on the advice of the donor, can be managed by the donor’s trusted financial advisor in a flexible and open manner that reflects the donor’s charitable objectives. The donor realizes immediate and maximum tax benefits, superior to those of a private foundation. The donor can recommend grants to their favorite charities on their own flexible timetable. The donor can elect to have the fund go on as the family’s charitable legacy over successive generations.

Whether it’s responding to a wide range of pressing human needs in this difficult economy, or fostering the donor’s their long-term charitable dreams, planning ahead can help minimize the tax bite for individuals while maximizing the dollars available for distribution to the heirs and for giving to charity. Fresh with the experience of filing their tax returns for 2011, many individuals are finding this the right time to work with their financial advisors on plans to reach personal financial goals while evaluating tax smart strategies to accomplish their charitable dreams through a legacy of family philanthropy. Donor advised funds are a win/win for the family and the charitable causes important to them.

About American Endowment Foundation
AEF is an independent public charity, established in 1993, with the mission to expand the capacity of American philanthropy through simple and flexible donor advised fund solutions. Since its inception, AEF has received nearly $450 million in charitable contributions and has made, on the recommendation of its donors, nearly $150 million in grants to charitable causes around the country.

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Philip Tobin
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