Can a Family Member Personally Contribute to a Foundation Pledge?

Absolutely. There are no rules about what family members can do to support the foundation’s work. So, if the foundation has pledged $10 million to Duke University to build a new basketball stadium, and that is clearly a binding pledge on the foundation, a family member may call up the school and says, “I was going to do this out of my foundation, but I’ve had a windfall, and I’d like to contribute straight to Duke and have that count,” that’s between you and Duke. There’s nothing in the tax code that should prevent or prohibit that.