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Donor advised funds

United Way provides valuable services to support your philanthropic goals, long-term wealth management strategies, and non-profit commitments. Opening a Donor Advised Fund with United Way is a convenient way for you to make a lasting investment in your community.

What is a Donor Advised Fund? Donor Advised Funds make community-wide philanthropy efficient and impactful. Donors advise United Way on distributions from their fund, utilizing a flexible and convenient way to invest in causes they support.

An individual, couple, family, or group may create a Donor Advised Fund by making an initial gift of cash, marketable securities, or other assets to United Way. Distributions can be to any domestic charity eligible to receive contributions under the Internal Revenue Code. United Way will help you manage your fund online, by phone or by mail.


  • A convenient and personalized service that offers flexibility to meet your needs.
  • One gift of stock or mutual fund shares can be used for any number of distributions to organizations that qualify as public domestic charities under the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Contributions to your fund are immediately available for distribution and there is no limit to the number of distributions that can be made.
  • Charitable deduction may be taken at the time of the contribution.
  • Your fund balance is invested and appreciation is available for distribution.
  • The fund may serve as a memorial or family/group charitable fund, where contributions may be made by any family member or friend and up to four individuals may recommend distributions.
  • Distributions from your United Way Donor Advised Fund to United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, its funded program partners, donor-designated agencies, or any other United Way count toward qualifying you for membership in one of United Way’s Leadership Giving Networks, including the Tocqueville Society with a combined gift of $10,000.
  • Gifts of $10,000 or more to the Community Impact Fund allow the donor to waive the annual fee and minimum balance requirements.


For more information please contact Julie Marsiglio, Director of Major Gifts at (585) 242-6465 or email.

Do you have a Donor Advised Fund at a financial-services firm such as Vanguard or Schwab? You can recommend gifts from that DAF to United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes.


If you would like to make a grant from your existing Donor Advised Fund and already have login information, please click here.

For information on how to access your online account, please click here.


  • Account must maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 unless the person supports United Way’s Community Impact Fund with a gift of $10,000 or more.
  • Grants from the account must be for $200 or more.
  • An annualized fee of 1% will be accessed on the account balance and will be paid monthly from the account. This amount will be netted with the interest/dividends applied to the account. This fee is waived if the person is a donor to United Way’s Community Impact Fund with a gift of $10,000 or more.
  • Donor Advised Funds can be passed down for up to two generations. When a donor does not designate a successor or the successor passes away, all funds pass to United Way’s Endowment Fund as a gift in their name.

United Way does not provide tax advice. Please consult a tax professional, financial planner, and/or attorney in regards to your personal circumstances and what option fits best to help meet your financial and philanthropic goals.