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Designated Fund Accounts

Designated Fund Accounts

A Designated Fund Account (DFA) is a charitable vehicle that allows individuals, families, organizations, or small groups to raise funds in support of a specified non-profit organization.

All distributions from a DFA are made to one specified organization, which is identified at the time the account is established. DFAs often benefit the named organization through the ongoing professional oversight offered by FJC.

A DFA is owned, controlled and managed by FJC but the Authorized Signatories on the account have advisory privileges with respect to the investment and distribution of amounts held in the account. Donors can take an immediate tax deduction for their contribution to a DFA and the distributions can be recommended to the specified organization over time.

There are two types of FJC Designated Fund Accounts:

Individual DFA: established by an individual to support a specified organization.

Collective DFA: established by, or on behalf of, a group of individuals who wish to raise funds to support a specified organization.

If you are not sure which Designated Fund Account is best suited to help you meet your philanthropic goals, please feel free to contact our office and an FJC representative will be happy to assist you. 


 Establishing a Designated Fund Account

Individual DFA (Individual or Family Supporting One Organization)

  1. Review All Documents: Review the Individual/Family Designated Fund Letter Agreement and Summary of Procedures for Designated Fund Accounts. Complete and return the Letter Agreement and Application to FJC via fax, e-mail or postal mail. Click here to view a list of Investment Options.
  2. Contribute a minimum $5,000 gift: Contributions can be made in the form of cash, credit card, appreciated securities (including mutual funds) or other FJC pre-approved forms of property. In order to benefit from a fair market value deduction, securities must be held for at least one year.
  3. Additional or Successor Recommenders: If you would like to list Additional or Successor Recommenders on your account at the time it is established, complete and return the Program Options Form. This form can also be completed or updated at any time after the account has been opened.
  4. FJC will send you a Welcome Kit: Once FJC received the required documents, FJC will confirm the eligibility of the specified organization and send the Authorized Signatories a Welcome Kit that includes everything needed in order to begin using the account and how to access the Donor Portal.

Collective DFA (Groups Collecting Funds to Support One Organization)

  1. Review All Documents: Review the Collective Designated Fund Letter Agreement and Summary of Procedures for Designated Fund Accounts. Complete and return the Letter Agreement and Application to FJC via fax, e-mail or postal mail. Click here to view a list of Investment Options.
  2. Additional or Successor Recommenders: If you would like to list Additional or Successor Recommenders on your account at the time it is established, complete and return the Program Options Form. This form can also be completed or updated at any time after the account has been opened.
  3. FJC will send you a Welcome Kit: Once FJC has received the required documents, FJC will confirm the eligibility of the specified organization and send the Authorized Signatories a Welcome Kit that includes everything needed in order to begin using the account and how to access the Donor Portal. You are now ready to let your family, friends, co-workers, foundations, and others know about the account so they can contribute and help raise money to support the specified organization.

 Individual DFA

At the time you establish a DFA is established, the Authorized Signatory will be asked to name the organization for which the distributions from the account will be designated. At the time FJC receives the account opening documents, we will verify that the organization is an eligible tax-exempt charity.

The initial contribution of $5,000 or more, and all future contributions made to the account, will be invested based on the account’s Investment Allocation. The funds will continue to grow, tax free, so there is even more money available for distributions. FJC will issue a tax receipt for the initial gift and all subsequent contributions made to the account.
Additional contributions may be made to the account at any time. There is no minimum amount for additional contributions. The Authorized Signatory may request a reallocation of the account holdings three times each calendar year, subject to FJC’s approval.

Grant recommendations may be submitted via the secure FJC Account Portal, email, fax, or postal mail at any time. There is no minimum, or maximum, number of distributions allotted for a calendar year. There is a $100 minimum per distribution. FJC will send the Authorized Signatory a copy of the grant distribution letter for each distribution made from the account. Click here to see a sample of the standard transmittal letter sent to an organization. Letters can also be adjusted to reflect donor anonymity.

FJC has one of the most competitive and simple fee structures. The DFA will be charged an administrative fee of just 1% annually, based on the average daily balance in the account. Fees are posted to the account on a quarterly basis at a rate of 1/4 of 1% and will be clearly outlined on the account's Quarterly Statement of Activity. Administrative fees are reduced for account balance in excess of $3 million. There are no transactional fees, balance requirement fees, or hidden charges – simply the annual fee based on your account balance.


Collective DFA

Once the Authorized Signatories on the account and the organization the funds will be designated for have been selected, the Collective DFA Letter Agreement and Application will be submitted to FJC. Upon the receipt of your account opening documents, FJC will confirm that the named organization is a qualified organization.

There is no initial contribution required to establish the account; however, there is a transactional fee of 2% assessed on all contributions received to help cover the administrative costs of processing third party contributions. Individuals, corporations and other foundations are free to make contributions to the account at any time. There is no minimum amount for contributions and all donors will receive a receipt as required by the Internal Revenue Service. The account will also be charged an administrative fee of just 1% annually, based on the average daily balance in the account. Fees are posted to the account on a quarterly basis at a rate of 1/4 of 1% and will be clearly outlined on the Quarterly Statement of Activity from FJC.

Distribution requests may be submitted by the Authorized Signatories on the account via the secure FJC Account Portal, email, fax, or postal mail at any time. There is no minimum, or maximum, number of distributions allotted for a calendar year. There is a $100 minimum per distribution. FJC will send the Authorized Signatory a copy of the grant distribution letter for each distribution made from the account. Click here to see a sample of the standard transmittal letter sent to an organization. Letters can also be adjusted to reflect donor anonymity.


 Advantages of a Designated Fund Account:

Involve the Next Generation in Philanthropy

This is the perfect way for the next to be generation involved in philanthropy. It provides a vehicle to teach them about the importance of giving back to their community, helps them learn about cash management, and starts a habit of giving that they can continue into adulthood.

Avoid Capital Gains Taxes

Your contributions of appreciated securities (including mutual funds) or other property, held for at least one year, are deductible at their full fair market value. You pay no capital gains tax on the appreciation, and the full amount of the appreciated value is available for charity.

Investment Options

As an independent foundation, FJC offers a larger and more diverse selection of Investment Options for its Donor Advised Funds than most other organizations. In addition to investment choices managed by leading financial institutions, FJC offers a unique investment option - the FJC Agency Loan Fund. The Agency Loan Fund provides loans at market interest rates to credit qualified charitable organizations with limited access to other credit sources.

International Grantmaking

FJC offers a special opportunity not available from most community foundations or donor advised funds. FJC can honor grant recommendations to pre-approved overseas charities and domestic organizations that have not yet received their tax-exempt ruling. FJC will work with the recipient organization to complete our application, agreement and reporting requirements.

No Minimum Subsequent Contributions

Additional contributions can be made at any time and in any amount. FJC does not require annual contributions, nor do we require a minimum balance in the account. Third parties can make contributions to the account at any time and in any amount.

Quick and Easy Grant Procedures

FJC has a low minimum grant recommendation amount ($100) and typically processes grant recommendations within 10 business days. Please note, certain recommendations may require additional research, which will extend the processing time.

Authorized Recommenders on the Fund may submit grant recommendations via e-mail, online using the FJC Donor Portal, or in writing using your customized Grant Recommendation Form, which you send in by postal mail or fax. Please note: we cannot accept recommendations over the phone.

FJC will mail you a copy of the transmittal letter to the organization at the same time we mail the grant. In addition, you can check the status of the grant via the FJC Donor Portal.

FJC Gift Certificate Program

You may request FJC Gift Certificates, for $100 or more. Recipients of the certificate can then recommend a distribution to the qualified charity of their choice.

Involve Future Generations

You may designate Successor Recommenders to assume the role of a Recommender at the time of your death, or designate a final distribution of funds to the charities of your choice once no eligible Recommenders exist on the account.


Tips About Grantmaking

You may recommend grants to any qualified tax-exempt organization, or qualified religious institution, in good standing with the IRS. Distributions can also be made to international charities that meet due diligence requirements and are approved by FJC for distributions on an agreement and reporting basis.

You may recommend any number of grants from your Fund during the year. The only requirement is that each grant recommendation is for a minimum of $100 and you have enough funds in your account to honor the recommendation at the time it is submitted.

FJC will contact you if your recommendation does not meet the minimum amount, if there are insufficient funds in your account, or if FJC has any other questions or concerns regarding your recommendation.

Please note that we ask you to allow 10 business days to process eligible requests, but we generally process requests within about a week.

FJC cannot honor the following recommendations from your Fund:

Pledges - FJC cannot honor pledges that you have made to an organization. This is a personal obligation that you have entered into and cannot be honored through your FJC Donor Advised Fund. FJC can honor solicitation requests.

Tuition - No form of tuition, or the enrollment fees for extracurricular activities, can be paid from your Fund. If a distribution to a school is submitted without a specific designation, FJC will confirm with the school, in writing, that the funds received will not be applied to the tuition of any particular individual.

Gift Intended for the Benefit of One Named Individual - FJC cannot honor recommendations for gifts that will benefit one named individual. For example, “Please apply this gift towards the tuition of John Smith.
Gifts, however, can be designated for funds being raised by a particular individual for an event. For example, “This gift is designated for Jane Smith’s participation in the Race for a Cure.

Bifurcated grants - like all other donor advised funds, FJC will not distribute funds for the tax-deductible portion of a dinner ticket to, for example, a fundraising gala.

If you are not sure if a gift qualifies for distribution from your FJC Designated Fund Account, please contact our office for clarification.