Frequently Asked Questions

What is a donor advised fund?

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable giving investment vehicle that an individual, family, or business uses to make an irrevocable contribution of assets to a public charity (Triskeles Foundation). A DAF can be started with an initial minimum gift of $5000 [$2,500 for youth funds]. DAFs are administered through the Triskeles Foundation (a public charity). We invest the assets of all the DAFs and make grants to charitable organizations upon the recommendations of the donors – as approved by the Triskeles Board.

Why contribute to a Donor Advised Fund at the Triskeles Foundation rather than directly to charity?

There are a number of benefits that a Triskeles DAF provides that direct donations to charity may not, including:

*The ability to accept and process appreciated securities

* The capacity to receive one block of securities to benefit multiple charities

* Create a legacy vs. providing a one-time gift

* Separation of tax planning and charitable giving

* Simplicity – single contribution can benefit multiple charities and only requires one tax substantiation letter

* Deferred and/or anonymous giving.

What is a FUND advisor?

A fund advisor is named by the donor to have access to recommending grants on the account. The person(s) named as the advisor(s) to the account is/are often the donor him/herself or a spouse or child of mature age.

Can an account be named after someone besides the donor?

Yes. The donor may choose any name acceptable to Triskeles for the account.

Can an account be named after someone besides the donor?

Yes. The donor may choose any name acceptable to Triskeles for the account.

How quickly are contributions processed?

Publicly traded stocks can usually be liquidated on the same or next market day after the Triskeles Foundation receives them. Cash contributions and securities, after they are liquidated, are invested as quickly as possible. If there is sufficient cash in the fund,gifts are dispersed once we receive the completed gift recommendation form from the donor, the approval from the Grants Committee of the Triskeles Board, and the necessary charitable information from the potential beneficiary. The entire process can take anywhere from one to three weeks.

What is the account minimum?

The minimum to open an account is $5,000. See Fees Schedule for details.

How many grants can be made in a year?

There is no limit to the number of grants made out of an account. Generally, the minimum grant size is $50. See Fees Schedule PDF for more details.

How do I recommend a grant?

Designated advisors may recommend grants to qualified charitable organizations by completing and submitting a grant recommendation letter provided by the Triskeles Foundation (See Forms page).  The Triskeles Foundation will then verify the charitable organization as an eligible entity to receive the grant using the approved charity guidelines, and complete action on the recommendation.

What are the Fees?


Management Fee*: 1% annually for the first $3 million balance on each account; 0.75% annually on balances greater than $3 million and less than $6 million on each account; 0.5% for the remainder of any balance over $6 million on each account (whichever is greater). Fees will be charged quarterly based on the average daily balance at each quarter end.


The principal of any newly established fund should remain within the Foundation for a period of six months before any disbursements are made from that fund.

Distributions/grants made by the Triskeles Foundation (also upon recommendation by Donor Advisors), should be $50 or more.

Transaction Fee:

For grants/distributions to foreign organizations, the transaction fee is 1-3% with a minimum of $50. The Triskeles Foundation reserves the right to use a qualified intermediary for foreign transactions. If significant time, professional or other services are needed to establish the eligibility of a foreign recipient; special fee arrangements will be made with the donor/fund.

For grants to U.S. based 501(c)(3) recipients, a transaction fee of 1% (up to a maximum of $5,000) or minimum of $25 (except for youth funds: $10) is assessed for each grant disbursement.

* For Donor Advised and non-profit funds

** For Donor Advised Funds.

Project Fund Fees: Fees for Project Funds, depending on requirements, range from 8 – 15%.

Interest: Triskeles Foundation maintains Donor Advised Funds in interest-bearing accounts. Investments in these accounts are professionally managed and are guided by the Triskeles Foundation’ Investment Policy.

Note: Triskeles Foundation reserves the right to review these fees periodically and to make changes to the fees at its discretion. Timely notice of such changes shall be given to each Fund Advisor.

Revised: 9/3/14

What is the Triskeles Foundation?

The Triskeles Foundation is an independent, public 501(c)(3) charity that helps individuals, families, and organizations effectively reach their philanthropic goals in a simple manner.

What is the difference between setting up a Donor Advised Fund and starting my own foundation?

Setting up a private foundation can involve substantial start-up costs and administrative expenses, such as the yearly filing of a Form 990-PF. But one of the most important differences is that a DAF at the Triskeles Foundation receives more favorable tax treatment than a private foundation. DAFs allow you to take an income tax deduction up to 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash donations and up to 30% of your AGI for appreciated securities vs. 30% for cash donations and 20% for appreciated securities, respectively, for a private foundation. Currently, once established, there are no gifts that must be made from your/the fund (by law), contrary to a private foundation which has a required minimum 5% annual payout requirement.  Read More “The Triskeles Foundation and You”

What is a successor advisor?

The successor advisor is the person identified by the donor’s advisor to take over the account’s recommendation responsibilities after the original advisor’s/donor’s death. Multiple successors can be named to an account depending on the donor’s advisor’s wishes.  Successors can name successors to take over in the event of their death.

When is a contribution considered to be a charitable donation?

A contribution is complete when the asset is “out of the donor’s control” and received by the Triskeles Foundation.

What types of assets can be contributed to a Triskeles Foundation Donor Advised Fund?

Cash, mutual funds and publicly traded securities that are eligible for DTC transfer can all be contributed to a DAF at the Triskeles Foundation. In the case of other securities, your investment professional should be contacted, because the transfer might take longer, might involve additional cost, and/or involve special instructions. Examples include restricted stocks.

How large or small may subsequent gifts be?

Further gifts of any size can be contributed to the fund.

What charities and non-profits are eligible for donations?

Grants can be made to charitable organizations that are tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and public charities under IRS Section 509(a) within the context of Triskeles’ mission and values. Grants can be made to private operating foundations but cannot be made to private non-operating foundations.

Where can I find the Application Forms?

Please review the information in the Forms page.