Ready, Set, Give: Getting Started with Your Donor-Advised Fund

Sarah NavranIndividual & Family Giving

If you have recently opened a donor-advised fund at Greater Horizons or are eager to learn more about the opportunities that come with your fund, this blog post is for you! By opening a donor-advised fund, you have unlocked a world of possibilities and advantages that will amplify your philanthropic impact.

We like to break down the donor-advised fund process into three simple steps: give, grant and grow. After you give cash, stock or other assets to your fund, you are eligible to receive a tax deduction for your contribution. Then, you can grant your assets out on a timeline that works for you. Donor-advised funds offer excellent flexibility so you can choose when and how to distribute your charitable dollars. Meanwhile, your assets within the fund are invested and grow tax-free.

Let’s dive into the ways you can make the most of using your new donor-advised fund.

Get comfortable in the online portal
After opening your fund, you can log into the online portal to access your account information. With 24/7 availability at your fingertips, the online portal will be your go-to place. When you log in, you’ll find our portal FAQs to help get you started. There are many features in the online portal, including the ability to view fund activity, access fund statements and request grants.

Helpful tip: Watch our video tutorial on accessing your fund online.

Make a grant from your fund
Granting is where the fun truly begins. You can suggest grants to any 501(c)(3) public charity in good standing with the IRS. Our staff at Greater Horizons does the due diligence for you to ensure that all organizations receiving grants are in good standing with the IRS. Greater Horizons does not limit the types of charities you can give to, and there is no minimum grant size. As long as IRS rules are followed, the opportunities are endless.

Helpful tip: Bookmark our grant guidelines for easy reference.

Expand your giving
With a robust team of over 100 employees, Greater Horizons is committed to providing comprehensive support throughout your philanthropic journey. If you are interested in strategizing and growing your giving, that’s where our philanthropic advisors come in.

Our team of philanthropic advisors has extensive experience working with donors with a variety of charitable interests, values and priorities. Some of their specialized services include:

  • Helping you identify, research and connect with nonprofit organizations.
  • Providing you with guidance on grantmaking best practices.
  • Facilitating discussions to think through your values, priorities and goals.
  • Offering custom charitable legacy plans.

Send us a quick email to let us know you’re interested in speaking with a philanthropic advisor about your charitable giving.

Helpful tip: Watch our video series on best practices for grantmaking from your charitable fund.

Attend our Conversations to Inspire Your Philanthropy

Greater Horizons hosts several learning opportunities throughout the year to help donors understand more about philanthropic giving. Our Conversations to Inspire Your Philanthropy series provides valuable insight into more meaningful philanthropy, no matter where you are on your giving journey. Continue to monitor our Donor Education Programs webpage for up-to-date event information and registration.

Watch our latest on-demand Making the Most of Your Donor-Advised Fund Webinar

To learn additional tips and tricks using your donor-advised fund, we recommend tuning in to our Making the Most of Your Donor-Advised Fund on-demand webinar, available anytime and anywhere. If you’re interested in watching and listening to a tutorial for using your charitable fund, this presentation gives donors an overview of grantmaking and our services.

If you have any questions about getting started with using your fund, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at