Donor advised fundholders’ love for community inspires giving
July 31, 2023
The support of donor advised fundholders is crucial to Central Carolina Community Foundation’s (CCCF) efforts in aiding the community. By the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2022-23, the total amount of Donor Advised Fund (DAF) grants awarded represented 73 percent of all grants issued by the Foundation.
Mary and Sam Waters set up their DAF with CCCF in 2004 after Mary learned about local nonprofits through conversations with her students at the University of South Carolina. Although the Waters were already established philanthropists in the Midlands, they wanted to increase their impact and simplify their giving process. They researched options and found that CCCF’s DAF program was the best fit for them.
“Philanthropy’s root word is Greek for ‘love of mankind,’ and I think that’s what philanthropy is. That’s how you can express that love in so many ways through many different facets to affect people’s lives personally, collectively, and as a community.”
– Sam Waters
Donor advised funds simplify giving by allowing fundholders to designate grants to multiple charitable organizations through a single donation. Fundholders contribute a minimum of $10,000 to establish a fund, creating an ongoing source of support for nonprofits that align with their values. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and can be tracked on the Foundation’s Donor Portal.
Sam Waters explains, “Philanthropy’s root word is Greek for ‘love of mankind,’ and I think that’s what philanthropy is. That’s how you can express that love in so many ways through many different facets to affect people’s lives personally, collectively, and as a community.”
For over 19 years, the Waters’ DAF has significantly impacted Midland’s nonprofits, particularly those that support marginalized groups and the arts.
“Giving back or being a philanthropist is a great way to know your community and its citizens. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, and it’s an opportunity to work with individuals who also care about improving the community,” Mary Water says. “It helps donors stay better connected and understanding to the circumstances of other members in our community.”
As alumni of the University of South Carolina, the Waters appreciate the opportunities Columbia has provided them and prioritize philanthropy to enrich the community that has given them so much. They believe their DAF has been the best way to maximize their philanthropic efforts.
Sam Waters believes that the donor advised funds’ tax benefits, flexibility, and professional management offered by CCCF are invaluable to donors. “Altogether, it just gives me peace of mind knowing that the money is in good hands, that we can advise as to the charities we want to benefit, and that we can change from year to year,” he says.