Weddings are a time of great joy and celebration, but finding the perfect gift for a couple who already has everything can be a major challenge. This past summer, Alexis and Will looked forward to getting married and combining their two households into one. The one thing they did not want (or need) was more stuff, as they had more than enough mixing bowls, candle holders, and gravy boats to go around. So instead of a traditional gift, Alexis’ parents, Bridget McCandless and Dennis Taylor, decided to set the newlyweds up with a donor advised fund (DAF) at Truman Heartland Community Foundation.

A DAF is a charitable giving vehicle that will allow the couple to make donations to nonprofit organizations but retain the right to advise on how the funds are used. It's a great way for anyone to support the causes they are passionate about while receiving some nice tax benefits. Because Alexis and Will live in another state, their new DAF allows them to give to any nonprofit organization they want to support, locally or in their own hometown. And if they are not sure where to give, THCF can help them find the causes and agencies that address issues that are important them.

One of the primary benefits of using a donor advised fund is that it really simplifies charitable giving. You can make one large donation to the DAF, like in our example here of a wedding gift, and then the DAF holder can distribute those funds to multiple charities over whatever time frame works for them. Plus, with a DAF, you don't have to track down all your donation receipts at tax time. Fundholders receive statements from the foundation, making itemizing returns much easier and less time-consuming.

Another benefit of using a DAF is that it provides flexibility in how you give. You can donate cash, stocks, or other appreciated assets to a DAF, which can help maximize your tax benefits. Additionally, donor advised funds allow you to donate anonymously, which can be helpful if you want to keep your giving private.

DAFs also provide a way to involve your entire family in philanthropy. You can name your children, grandchildren, or other family members as advisors to th

e fund, which can help instill a sense of giving in the next generation. It's a great way to teach your family about the importance of giving back to the community. Bridget and Dennis had a fund with THCF for many years, so the idea of philanthropy wasn't new to Alexis. And now that she and her new partner have their own fund, they can keep the legacy of giving going for the next generation.

A donor-advised fund is a unique and meaningful gift that can support the causes a couple cares about while also providing the gift giver with some nice tax benefits. It simplifies the process of charitable giving, provides flexibility in the timing of gifts, and can involve the entire family in the process of philanthropy. It's a great way to make a difference in the world and celebrate a special occasion. If you're looking for a wedding, graduation, or other life-celebration gift for someone who already has everything they need, giving a DAF might be the perfect option.

Wedding gift wrapped in brown paper