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What is a Donor Advised Fund

Learn About the Donor Advised Fund

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a separately identified account set up through a public foundation operating as a Canadian registered charity.  Once the donor makes the receiptable contribution, the foundation has ownership of it, but the donor (or the donor’s representative) retains advisory privileges with respect to the granting of funds to other charities of their choice.

It’s like having your own personal, family or corporate foundation without the hassle and cost.

Donor Advised Funds are Giving Funds

Give Now

Receive your donation receipt immediately and take some time to decide how your gift should be distributed to your favourite charities.

Set up a fund now

Set up a fund now that will receive proceeds / bequests from your estate. You can leave clear intentions about ministries and charities who will benefit from your fund, or it can be managed by a successor who you choose. Distributions to your chosen charities can be made in the short or long term.


Easy Set-up

A CNCF Donor Advised Fund can be established by the completion of a 4-page form; no legal professionals required.


The donor can name the DAF account whatever they wish; e.g. after a family name, as a memorial to an individual, after an organization, etc.

No Start-Up Costs

There are no start-up costs for establishing a DAF, unlike creating a private foundation where legal fees, investment fees and accounting fees are just some of the costs.

No Admin Requirements

All administrative, investment and record keeping services are provided by CNCF. No additional tax returns or accounting services are required.


A CNCF Donor Advised Fund is confidential. The public cannot know how much was given, by whom, or for what purposes.


Grants can be made anonymously through a CNCF Donor Advised Fund.

Flexibility of Contributions

The contribution of appreciated securities to a DAF can easily be distributed to several charities.

Flexibility of Donors

Anyone can contribute to any particular donor-advised fund and will be receipted for their donation.

Tax Advantages

A donation receipt will be issued immediately for a gift received, while grants to charities can be decided upon later, at any time.

For all the details related to Donor Advised Funds, read DAF Policies and Guidelines.