Donor-Advised Funds

A Philanthropic Tool for Business

Barry L. Stoltzfus, Executive Director, Univest Foundation

Barry L. Stoltzfus Many philanthropically minded business owners make charitable contributions both personally and through their companies. During business downturns, which many companies and their industries have experienced in the past five years, these individuals are tempted to reduce their business's charitable giving. However, recognizing that charitable organizations are always in need, business owners may try to make up the difference of reduced corporate giving through their own personal giving.

One often-overlooked philanthropic tool available during these difficult economic times is a donor-advised fund in the name of the giver's company. Many of these individuals already have a donor-advised fund into which they donate appreciated stock for their personal philanthropy (e.g., donations to their church). The stock is then sold and the proceeds are distributed to charities selected by the donor, enabling them to avoid capital gains taxes.

With a Univest Foundation business donor-advised fund, donations can be spread out over time. During highly profitable years, a company can make larger donations to its fund and receive larger charitable deductions. Distributions, on the other hand, can be made at the usual rate, thereby helping to create a donation reserve for a charity's use during lean years. This will create consistency in the company's philanthropy, while allowing them to use charitable deductions in the years when they provide the most economic benefit. Additionally, your community will benefit from your company's high level of philanthropy – even when business is slow.

To find out more about Univest Foundation's portfolio of charitable giving options for businesses and individuals, call 215-703-5247 or email We can help you explore a variety of philanthropic tools to help you achieve your financial goals

Business Matters Univest Business Matters