What is a Donor Advised Fund?

By setting up a donor advised fund, you are creating a lasting legacy and helping to do the Lord’s work. Giving is an act of worship, another way to offer your Lord a thankful response for his never-failing gifts.



A donor advised fund is a charitable giving vehicle wherein an individual, family, or corporation makes an irrevocable, tax-deductible contribution of cash, securities, or other property to WELS Foundation and at any time thereafter can recommend grant distributions to qualified WELS ministries. The fund can be established with current gifts, deferred gifts (such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts), and testamentary gifts (such as wills, revocable trusts, or beneficiary designation for life insurance policies or retirement accounts).


  • Gift size:  The minimum initial gift is $10,000. Donors can add funds in $100 increments at any time.
  • Individual: You may name your donor advised fund. You, or the persons you designate, may recommend distributions to organizations listed in the WELS Yearbook from your fund—anonymously if you so choose.
  • Grant recommendations: The minimum amount that may be recommended is $250. Each fund must distribute at least five percent of its asset value annually.
  • Lasting legacy: You may designate others to continue recommending distributions after your lifetime (usually for a period of 20 years) to support your home congregation or other favorite WELS ministries.


  • Joy: Arrange to benefit the areas of the Lord’s work that are closest to your heart, including WELS congregations, mission work, schools, agencies, and other ministries.
  • Tax savings: You receive an income tax charitable deduction in the year of your gift to your donor advised fund, regardless of when grants are made. As with all gifts of long-term appreciated securities, none of the appreciation is subject to capital gains tax.
  • Recommend gifts when ready: Contribute to your donor advised fund this year, and decide later which of the WELS ministries you want to support.
  • Encourage family stewardship: Help your children and other loved ones experience the joy of giving by involving them in the decision making process for the grant recommendations.