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Simplified, Flexible Giving Through Donor-Advised Funds

“We don’t like to be minimalists,” Brian Huff says, describing the giving philosophy he and his wife Ashley adhere to.

         Ashley and Brian Huff


“We don’t like to be minimalists,” Brian Huff says, describing the giving philosophy he and his wife Ashley adhere to. “Scripture encourages us to give generously, setting a minimum goal of 10 percent of pretax income or your ‘first fruits’ as your tithe for your church, and to give gifts over and above your tithe for other ministries and charities. We strive to follow this example because we enjoy doing so.”

Brian and Ashley passionately support various organizations and ministries that meet both local and international needs. The vast majority of the causes they support are faith-based organizations that make a tangible difference in the lives of others. Locally, organizations like Oliver Gospel Mission, The Free Medical Clinic and The Cooperative Ministry help some of the Midland’s most vulnerable citizens.

Around the world, Samaritan’s Purse and World Vision aid victims of war, poverty, natural disaster and disease. Brian’s enthusiasm for helping others rings in his voice as he describes the causes that he and Ashley care about most.

“We are particularly passionate about organizations that reach out to youth and young adults, such as Adrian Despres of Kingdom Building Ministries,” he says. Adrian’s ministry reaches thousands of students and young adults each year. In addition, he serves as chaplain for the University of South Carolina’s football team.

Two additional favorites are Campus Crusade for Christ and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Campus Crusade’s ministry reaches 191 countries around the globe, while FCA,    the largest Christian campus ministry in the world, uses athletics as a medium to reach athletes and coaches. The local radio station 89.7 WMHK also holds a special place in their hearts.

Maintaining all the records and receipts for their charitable giving became a challenge. Brian asked their accountant, Jack Williamson of Williamson and Associates, about creating a foundation through which they could direct their philanthropic gifts. Jack referred him to the Central Carolina Community Foundation.

“For us, the Foundation was the obvious alternative to creating a private foundation,” Brian recalls. “Our donor-advised fund provides us the simplicity of making one large gift for the year and gives us the flexibility to support the causes we care about most. There are no more receipts to track down. It has really simplified our lives.” When creating a donor-advised fund at CCCF, donors mention these benefits as well:

  • Ability to contribute money to their fund and receive a tax deduction in that year, but make the actual donations on their own flexible timetable.
  • Intergenerational family involvement in charitable giving.
  • Ability to use the donor-advised fund as an easily amendable vehicle in their estate plan.
  • Opportunity to take advantage of the Foundation’s deep knowledge of community needs and the nonprofits that serve them.

The National Philanthropic Trust reports that 177,357 donor-advised funds were created in 2011. And in 2012, donors across the country took advantage of these benefits. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, an uncertain tax climate and several years of strong markets made for a record year for donor-advised charitable gift funds. If you have questions or would like more information about donor-advised funds, please contact me at 803.254.5601 x331 or [email protected]

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