Donor Advised Funds

By setting up a donor advised fund, you are creating a lasting legacy and helping to do the Lord’s work. Giving is an act of worship, another way to offer your Lord a thankful response for his never-failing gifts.


A donor advised fund is a charitable giving vehicle wherein an individual, family, or corporation makes an irrevocable, tax-deductible contribution of cash, securities, or other property to WELS Foundation and at any time thereafter can recommend grant distributions to qualified WELS ministries. The fund can be established with current gifts, deferred gifts (such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts), and testamentary gifts (such as wills, revocable trusts, or beneficiary designation for life insurance policies or retirement accounts).


  • Gift size:  The minimum initial gift is $10,000. Donors can add funds in $1,000 increments at any time.
  • Individual: You may name your donor advised fund. You, or the persons you designate, may recommend distributions to organizations listed in the WELS Yearbook from your fund—anonymously if you so choose.
  • Grant recommendations: The minimum amount that may be recommended is $250.
  • Lasting legacy: You may designate others to continue recommending distributions after your lifetime (usually for a period of 20 years) to support your home congregation or other favorite WELS ministries.


  • Joy: Arrange to benefit the areas of the Lord’s work that are closest to your heart, including WELS congregations, mission work, schools, agencies, and other ministries.
  • Tax savings: You receive an income tax charitable deduction in the year of your gift to your donor advised fund, regardless of when grants are made. As with all gifts of long-term appreciated securities, none of the appreciation is subject to capital gains tax.
  • Recommend gifts when ready: Contribute to your donor advised fund this year, and decide later which of the WELS ministries you want to support.
  • Encourage family stewardship: Help your children and other loved ones experience the joy of giving by involving them in the decision-making process for the grant recommendations.

Donor Advised Fund FAQs

You have two investment options: a money market account and the WELS Balanced Fund.

Money market account: ideal if you want to make distributions over a short period of time. There are lower investment returns, but no market volatility.

WELS Balanced Fund: more appropriate for longer-term distributions. There is potential for growth over time, but also potential market volatility.

View the latest WELS Balanced Fund Fact sheet

You can recommend distributions to 501(c)(3) organizations that are either WELS ministries or ministries in fellowship with WELS. On an exception basis, distributions to non-WELS charities may be considered.

Recommend distributions to your donor advised fund

The minimum distribution from your donor advised fund is $250, and the maximum distribution that you can make is 100% of the fund value.

You can give cash, marketable securities, and/or other assets (subject to WELS Foundation board approval) to your donor advised fund at any time. Gifts of appreciated securities or real estate may also benefit you by avoiding potential capital gains tax.

Contact us to add funds to your donor advised fund

The donor advised fund fee schedule is consistent with that of larger discount investment companies (like Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard).

Cash$10,000First $500,000: 0.60%**0.15% per distribution
Marketable Securities$10,000$500,001 to $1,000,000: 0.30%0.15% per distribution
Illiquid Property (board approval required)$10,000$1,000,001 to $2,500,000: 0.15%0.15% per distribution
More than $2,500,000: Call0.15% per distribution

*Admin fees processed quarterly
**or $100 (whichever is greater)


Christian giving counselors are available to provide you with answers and knowledgeable advice.

The information contained on this website is not intended as legal advice. For legal and tax advice, WELS Foundation encourages you to consult an attorney or tax professional. The figures cited in the examples on this website are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income tax include federal taxes only. Individual state taxes and/or state law may impact your results.