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Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I open a donor advised fund?

You can use our secure online application  layer to open an account. For a faster application process, we recommend having the following information on hand:

  • Information about yourself, co-donors and advisors (if applicable): Social Security number, date of birth, address, phone number and email address
  • Information about the assets you wish to contribute, such as stock ticker symbol and estimated value. The minimum initial contribution is $25,000.
What types of assets can I contribute?

The Charitable Gift Fund can accept a broad range of assets to help you maximize the value of your contribution. Examples include:

  • Cash, securities and mutual funds
  • Restricted stock and closely held business interests
  • Real estate, timberland, farms and ranches
  • Gas, oil and mineral rights
  • Non-financial tangible assets are considered on a case-by-case basis.

For questions, contact your Bank of America Merrill Lynch Advisor, your U.S. Trust advisor or the Charitable Gift Fund at 1.888.703.2345, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Who should I contact about my Charitable Gift Fund account?

For questions about creating or managing your Charitable Gift Fund account, contact your Bank of America Merrill Lynch Advisor, your U.S. Trust Advisor or the Charitable Gift Fund at 1.888.703.2345, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also email questions to

What are the minimum contributions and balances?

There is $5,000 minimum to open an account and additional contributions must be at least $250 each. There is a minimal investable balance. If the account balance falls below $25,000 at the end of any quarter, the account will be placed into the Principal Preservation allocation.

How are the Charitable Gift Fund accounts invested?

The Gift Fund offers 8 Investment Objectives, a money market fund and 7 strategic asset allocation models ranging from All Fixed Income through Appreciation. Under each asset allocation model, Donors may recommend a:

  • Mutual fund portfolio
  • Combined mutual fund and ETF portfolio
  • All-ETF portfolio (available for accounts funded with at least $3 million)

Learn more about Investment Objectives

What are the fees associated with the account?

Administration and Investment fees are explained on our Fees page.

Are there any fees besides the stated administration and investment fees?

There is no minimum annual fee and no additional fees if the account falls below a certain balance. Additionally, there are no fees for general grantmaking; however, the Charitable Gift Fund reserves the right to charge additional fees for extraordinary services. If a client donates non-financial assets (for example: real estate, ranches or farms) to the fund, the Gift Fund account would incur the transaction costs associated with the disposition of that asset (legal fees from a real estate sale). For more information, see the Charitable Gift Fund Program Guidelines and Fees.

Will my grant recommendation to the Charitable Gift Fund be approved?

Your grant recommendation will generally be approved as long as the charitable recipient is a qualified charity and awarding the grant would provide no incidental benefit to the donors. Gift Fund donors have an advisory role in the grantmaking process, meaning they can recommend that grants be made to qualified charities. However, the sponsoring organization (The Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund) has the sole authority to approve or reject recommendations.

If my company has a matching gifts program will that apply to the Charitable Gift Fund?

That depends on the company’s policy. Each donor will need to verify his or her company’s policy regarding matching gifts to donor advised funds.

How much do I need to distribute from my Charitable Gift Fund each year?

Donor advised funds are not subject to any minimum or maximum distribution requirements. Private foundations are required by law to distribute at least 5% of the value of assets each year. However, if a Donor’s account is dormant for 5 years, with neither contributions nor grant recommendations, the Charitable Gift Fund will attempt to contact the Donor(s) or successor(s) to provide the opportunity to make grant recommendations or contributions. If the Donor(s) or successor(s) do not do so or if no Donor or successor is then acting, the Charitable Gift Fund will transfer the account to the Trustee’s General Fund.