donorJust two years after starting a donor-advised fund (DAF) with Heartspring United Methodist Foundation in memory of his mother, Steve Smith had exhausted the fund with continual grant making to worthy nonprofit organizations. Each grant request helped him think about the difference his mom wanted him to make in the world. It was a tangible way to consider what would make her proud and he was hooked.

As he thought about his own will, he knew he wanted to set up a DAF as he had in honor of his mother. Moreover, his experience with Heartspring had been so positive, he wanted to keep working with a Methodist foundation. Since TMF and Heartspring had merged, he decided TMF would be the perfect fit. “I have been a Methodist my entire life,” Steve shared. “I have great confidence in the Methodist church and I know the funds will be managed well in TMF’s care.”

Through a DAF, individuals have a charitable giving account where interest grows their funds, they recommend grants to the 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that will benefit from those funds, and they receive a tax deduction. 

For Steve, his invested funds will grow to support nonprofits that transform lives, like Zoe Empowers – an organization that gives orphans the tools and resources they need to thrive independently. But there is more. With a DAF, Steve’s family can experience the same type of charitable decisions he had made in his mother’s honor. Through his successor advisors, the philanthropic family legacy he began with his mom will continue, and the rich conversations about life-changing nonprofits will as well. 

“I want my family to stay connected,” Steve said eagerly. “With the donor-advised fund, as I have it written, my family will connect twice a year to discuss grant requests. They will have amazing conversations about the importance of philanthropy and the organizations they believe are making a difference.”  

Since the two parts of his family, his wife’s side and his sister’s, are separated by hundreds of miles, Steve’s philanthropic aims ensure those most important to him will stay in relationship no matter how far apart they might be. 

With one charitable gift, Steve is successfully marrying three of the most important aspects of his life – faith, generosity, and family. “When I think about philanthropy and the importance of generosity, I always come back to the passage in Luke 12 – ‘To whom much was given, much will be expected.’ I believe that passage compels Christians to be joyfully generous,” Steve shared. “Philanthropy is part of our Christian discipleship. I was exceptionally blessed by God in my career, so I have the ability to be very generous, and now I also have the chance to empower my family to engage in philanthropy for years to come.”   

If you would like to join Steve by inviting your family to participate in enriching conversations about generosity and the work of nonprofit organizations, please contact Sally Richard about setting up a DAF of your own. | 512-583-1940