Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the required contribution to my donor advised fund?

A: Your initial contribution to open a donor advised fund is $250. There is no minimum requirement for subsequent contributions.

Q: How often may I contribute to my fund?

A: As often as you like.

Q: What is the minimum requirement for recommending grants from my fund?

A: $10.00 per recipient.

Q: How do I receive a receipt for my contribution to my fund?

A: A receipt is issued by email. The summary report of all transactions in your account is also printable.

Q: May I allow funds to accumulate in my account in order to grow into a substantial amount?

A: Yes, and many donors do so. You can wait up to five years between deposits and nominations, providing you nominate at least 5% of the balance every year.

Q: Can someone other than myself or my family make a contribution to be credited to my donor advised fund?

A: Others can write a check made out to Independent Charities of America and mailed to the ICA office with a memo that the funds are to be applied to your fund account. This is the only way that someone other than yourself can receive a tax deduction for a gift made to your donor advised fund.

Someone else may use the online system to make a credit card gift if you give them your login credentials (but we do not necessarily recommend this). It is important to note that someone else who logs in to your donor advised fund account online will not be able to receive a tax deduction for the donation since the deposit will be seen as coming from you, the account holder.

Q: If our club creates a donor advised fund, who will get the tax deduction?

A: The club itself, if the club is the entity that makes the gift to ICA. The members receive the tax deduction if it is the individual members who make the gift to ICA.

Q: Can I contribute non-cash or non-stock gifts, such as real estate?

A: No, ICA can only accept check, credit card, or securities contributions.

Q: If I use a credit card are there any processing fees deducted?

A: If you use a Visa, MasterCard or Discover card 100% of the deposit amount will be applied to your DAF. If you use an American Express card, there will be a 2.25% fee deducted from the deposit amount.

Q: Can someone other than myself make nominations for distributions from my fund?

A: Yes, anyone with whom you share your login credentials.

Q: I’m an employer. Can I have an at-work fund drive using the ICA system and let my employees fund their accounts by payroll deduction?

A: Yes. The employer needs to make special arrangements with ICA to facilitate reporting. This is easily done. Inquire by email to