Donating through a donor-advised fund (DAF) is a fantastic way to support your local teachers and classrooms year-round.
Using your Donor-Advised Fund on DonorsChoose
You can use your donor-advised fund to support projects on DonorsChoose by:
- Purchasing account credits now and allocating them to projects when your funds arrive OR
- Picking individual projects now and recommending your DAF donation is applied to to them specifically
We recommend option #1 as the best approach for making your DAF donation: buying credits first, then selecting projects. (Otherwise, if you select projects to fund first, then make a DAF donation towards those specific projects, there’s a higher likelihood that the projects will be fully funded or expire while we wait for your DAF funds to arrive.)
Purchasing account credits
DonorsChoose account credits are like DonorsChoose dollars that you can use to support projects on our site. Once your DAF funds arrive in the form of account credits in your account, you can immediately donate them to any projects of your choosing.
To purchase account credits with your DAF:
- Go to donorschoose.org/credits
- Choose the amount of credits you’d like to purchase
- Check out using your donor-advised fund.
Once funds arrive from your DAF, you’ll have a balance of ready-to-use credits that you can allocate to project(s) of your choosing over the next year, including on match days, without needing to make new DAF recommendations.
Check out the detailed instructions below for using your donor-advised fund as a payment method when purchasing account credits.
Donating to individual projects
You can donate directly to projects using your DAF, and we’ll apply funds to the project(s) you’ve selected once the funds arrive from your DAF.
IMPORTANT: Some projects may be fully funded or expired by the time your DAF funds arrive. If you tend to spend a lot of time selecting projects, please consider purchasing account credits with your DAF (see instructions above) instead of donating to individual projects,
To donate to individual projects using your DAF:
- Select the projects you want to support, and how much you want to give to each project.
- Add individual projects to your cart by selecting “Give to this classroom”
- Once you’ve added all the projects you want to support to your cart, check out using your donor-advised fund.
Once funds arrive from your DAF, we’ll apply the funds and amounts to the projects you selected. If any of the projects you chose to support no longer need donations, we’ll send the money to you as account credits that you can use to support other DonorsChoose projects of your choosing.
Check out the detailed instructions below for using your donor-advised fund as a payment method when donating directly to projects.
Placing your donor-advised fund donation on DonorsChoose
- Once you’ve added credits, projects, or gift cards to your cart, on the checkout page, select donor-advised fund as your payment method. You'll find this option by clicking "Other" when asked for your payment method.
- On the next page, select your DAF and follow the instructions on that screen.
- Recommend your donation to your donor-advised fund by specifying the $ amount and the Donation ID.
- If you have Fidelity or BNY, use the DAF Direct widget to log in to your account and complete your pledge. If you have another DAF, you will need to contact your donor-advised fund to send a check to our donation lockbox (and not our physical address in New York):
Mail code: 6656, P.O. Box 7247
Philadephia, PA 19170-66562
- You’ll receive an email once we’ve received your donation from your donor-advised fund. After your DAF issues payment and we have received it, this usually takes up to 10 business days to process and add into your account.
Looking for other ways to support teachers and classrooms? Check out our guide to strategic giving!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a donor-advised fund?
A donor-advised fund (DAF) provides donors with a centralized charitable giving vehicle. Through a donor-advised fund, you can allocate a charitable gift each year and take an immediate tax deduction. Commonly used donor-advised funds include Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, Vanguard Charitable, National Philanthropic Trust, and BNY Mellon, among many others.
I donated to a project or purchased account credits through my DAF, when will I see that donation on the site?
We will allocate your donation in the way you selected as soon as we receive the funds from your DAF. Typically, most DAF checks are processed within 10 days of receipt.
What if the project I’m funding is completed before my donation is received?
We’ll notify you and deposit your donation into your account as account credits, so that you can support another classroom of your choice.
Can you expedite my donation?
In many cases, yes! Once you have made your recommendation to your donor-advised fund, send proof of your DAF recommendation (such as a screenshot or downloaded PDF of the confirmation page from the DAF portal) to firstname.lastname@example.org to expedite the process.
What information do I need to provide to make a recommendation to my DAF?
To recommend a donation to your donor-advised fund, you’ll need:
- Your Donation ID - which you’ll receive once you’ve placed your donation on DonorsChoose. Include this in your recommendation to your DAF, so they can include it in the memo line on the check they send to us
- Mailing address (not our physical address):
Mail Code: 6656, P.O. Box 7247
Philadelphia, PA 19170-66562
Can I receive an additional tax credit from DonorsChoose for my donation made using my donor-advised fund?
Donations made to DonorsChoose through a donor-advised fund are not tax deductible, as the tax credit is given when donating funds into a donor-advised fund. You will not see tax wording on your receipt after we receive payment.
Where can I find my donation ID?
After proceeding through checkout on DonorsChoose, you can access your donation ID and instructions for recommending your donation in 3 places:
- On the confirmation screen after placing your donation
- In your email inbox
- In your DonorsChoose account: sign in -> click your name in the top-right corner of the screen -> click “private info” in the dropdown menu -> click the dollar amount listed in “checks to send”