Penn Donor Advised Fund

The Penn Donor Advised Fund is a way for you to support Wharton and other charities in an efficient and satisfying way. The Penn DAF provides a convenient way for you to make a gift now, and “lock-in” a charitable tax deduction the year the gift is made, while delaying your decision of where to designate your gift until a later date. And a Penn DAF account is easier to create and manage than a private or family foundation.

With a gift of $500,000 or more, you can establish a Penn Donor Advised Fund account in your name. At least 50% of your gift must be designated over time to University programs, with the remaining balance available to be designated to Wharton or to other charitable organizations of your choice. You have the option to make additional contributions to your DAF account of $100,000 or more whenever you wish. In return for your gift, you are eligible for a tax deduction for the full value in the year your gift is made, subject to IRS guidelines.

Various assets can be used to fund your account. Cash and securities can easily be transferred into the account. Other assets such as real estate may also be used to fund an account. Your Penn DAF account can be named as the beneficiary of a charitable bequest, trust, and retirement plan.

As the account advisor, you have the flexibility to recommend the assets be invested in a selection of investment portfolios. We have partnered with our planned giving provider, TIAA Kaspick, (a subsidiary of TIAA), to manage the DAF accounts.

Once your Penn DAF account has been established, you (or a representative) may recommend charitable grants to Wharton and to your other favorite charities. At least 5% of your donor advised fund must be distributed annually. You may make unlimited grant recommendations each quarter with a minimum distribution amount of $2,500 per grant.

Benefits of a Penn Donor Advised Fund

  • Inexpensive to maintain
  • A convenient way to designate gift dollars among Wharton priorities and other charities
  • Tax advantageous—contributions are fully tax deductible as allowed by law
  • An affordable and less complicated alternative to a family foundation


Robert, W’54 and Ruth Segall find their Penn DAF account is a convenient way to distribute their giving dollars and help designate their gifts to Wharton, along with their many other charitable interests outside of Penn. They both agree that this flexible grant making feature helps reduce administrative details involved in managing their philanthropy.

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