Giving Vehicles: The Basics

Is direct giving, a donor advised fund, a private foundation, an LLC, or some combination the best set-up for you to achieve your goals?

Many people are catapulted into philanthropy because of a wealth event. Often, their first question is what giving vehicle to use to deploy their philanthropic dollars. We hope this chapter will help you answer these questions:

  • What are the types of giving vehicles, or structures, that I can use for my philanthropy?
  • What are the pros and cons of each, given my interests and circumstances?

This chapter covers commonly asked questions on methods of giving. We discuss:

  • direct giving
  • donor advised funds (DAFs)
  • private foundations
  • limited liability companies (LLCs)

A chart at the end of the chapter compares the major characteristics of each vehicle.