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About Donor-Advised Funds

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Looking for a more effective way to donate to your favorite charities while maximizing tax benefits?

Franklin Charitable Giving Program may be the answer. This section provides information about the many benefits of donor-advised funds, as well as specifics on how Franklin Charitable Giving Program could fit into your philanthropic and financial plans.

Here’s how the Franklin Charitable Giving Program works:

Opening a Franklin Charitable Giving Program account is easy. Just complete a Donor Contribution Agreement and return it to your financial advisor.1

Start exploring Franklin Charitable Giving Program by selecting any of the topics in the navigation menu to the left.

Quick Facts & Guidelines

Use this section as a reference for quick facts about Franklin Charitable Giving Program accounts.

Initial contribution. The initial contribution must be $5,000 or greater. Multiple assets and securities can be contributed to equal the minimum.

Opening an account. To open an account, a donor must complete a Donor Contribution Agreement and enclose a minimum, irrevocable contribution of $5,000. If contributing securities, donors must complete one additional form: Asset Transfer Request Letter of Instruction. The account becomes active only after Renaissance Charitable Foundation, Inc. receives and processes the completed Agreement, and you establish the account online for the donor.2

Additional contributions. After the account is established, additional contributions may be made at any time by completing an Additional Contribution Agreement online (must be entered online by financial advisor not the donor). Subsequent contributions must be $1,000 or greater.

Irrevocable contributions. Contributions to Franklin Charitable Giving Program are irrevocable and are not refundable.

Minimum grant amount. The minimum grant recommendation amount is $250.

Cash donations. The account will be credited with the value of the cash contribution the day the funds are received.

Securities donations. The account will be credited with the net proceeds after liquidation costs from the sale of the donated securities.

Liquidation. The account will seek to liquidate and reinvest the donated securities promptly, usually the next trading day.

Account value and income. At any time, account value can be calculated as the sum of the initial net contributions plus interest, dividends and other investment income, including capital gains distributions from underlying investment vehicles, less grant distributions and other operating expenses. The value of the account will fluctuate with market movements.

Reporting and receipts. Clients will receive quarterly account statements detailing account transactions (contributions, grant activity), account balances and funds available for grant making. A tax substantiation letter and contribution confirmation receipt, with an estimate of the full fair market value of the publicly traded securities contributed, will be provided to your clients. Any fair market value computation is a good faith estimate, and clients should consult with a tax advisor to determine applicable deductibility.

Designate account donor(s) 
In addition to yourself, you can name additional donors who are joint contributors to the account.

Name your account   
Choose a name for your charitable giving account. For example, you may want to name it after your family or have it reflect the charitable goals of the account (for example, “The Smith Family Fund” or “John WayneScholarship Fund.”

Name account advisors
You can name one or more individuals as advisors to your account, who will also be able to recommend grants during your lifetime. Many individuals get their children involved in charitable gifting through their donor-advised funds.

Designate account successors or charitable beneficiaries
You may name one or more successors or beneficiaries to your account.  A successor gains full responsibility for decisions relating to the account upon the death of all the original donors, and has the authority to make contributions, recommend grants and name advisors and future successors. If you prefer, you can name a charity as the account beneficiary to inherit either all of the remaining assets in the account or 5% annually, upon the death of all original donors.

Select a charitable area of interest 
To honor your charitable intent, you’ll need to indicate a charitable organization or area of interest that you’d like your grants to support. You could include a specific charitable organization, a university, a particular field of research (such as cancer or heart disease) or an area of interest (such as environmental protection or support for the arts).

In the event that your account ceases to make grant recommendations for three consecutive years, Renaissance Charitable Foundation, Inc. (RCF) will make reasonable attempts to contact you or your designated successors. If RCF cannot contact either, its Directors will direct grants from the account, and will endeavor to support your charitable area of interest.

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  1. Copies of the Donor Contribution Agreement are available in the Charitable Giving Fund Donor Program Circular, which can be obtained from your financial advisor, by calling Franklin Templeton Investments at (800) 632-2350 ext. 1134243 or by visiting Your account will not be opened until RCF receives a faxed, signed copy of the Agreement and your financial advisor activates your account online at
  2. Franklin Charitable Giving Program is subject to the terms and conditions of Renaissance Charitable Foundation, Inc. articles of incorporation and bylaws. Renaissance Charitable Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees reserves the right to modify Franklin Charitable Giving Program at any time.

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