tags: Why I Give

For Jill and Michael Snyder, the decision to give is an easy one. “We give because it’s the right thing to do, because it feels good to give, and because it sets an example for our children,” Jill says.

So it makes sense that the way in which they give is just as simple: through a donor-advised fund (DAF), which operates like a charitable checking account, explains Orlee Engler Kahn, Kennedy Krieger Institute’s director of planned giving.

Many financial and charitable institutions manage DAF programs. After establishing a DAF, a donor may recommend that the institution managing their DAF make donations from the DAF to qualified nonprofit organizations. Contributions to DAFs are tax-deductible and are not subject to capital gains tax.

“DAFs are a valuable tool for donors,” Orlee says. “They’re flexible in that they allow donors to support many causes, including Kennedy Krieger, whenever—and in whatever amount—they want, while also being tax-advantageous.”

We are gratified to be able to use our donor-advised fund at The Associated to contribute to worthwhile causes such as Kennedy Krieger.”– Jill Snyder

For the Snyders, giving through a DAF at The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore over the past decade has allowed the whole family to be involved. “About four times a year, The Associated sends out a list of grant recommendations in different categories, and that gives us ideas of where to give,” she explains. Her three children have always been involved in picking the charities the family gives to. “Now that they’re older, they continue to give to their own charitable causes, often asking us for advice on where and how to give.”

Jill and Michael have given consistently to Kennedy Krieger, as well as to educational and Jewish causes, for many years. Jill learned about the Institute through her work as an estates and trusts attorney, often working with clients with children with special needs who’d received services at Kennedy Krieger. When Jill first toured the Institute, “what struck me the most was that it was so positive, hopeful and uplifting”—exactly the type of organization she wanted to support.

Gary Zipper, who also supports Kennedy Krieger through a DAF, lost his father when he was 12 and knows what it’s like to grow up without many resources. A semi-retired life insurance specialist, he’s now in the position to help others. “I have a soft spot for those facing challenges,” he says.

All parties benefit from utilizing a donor-advised fund. It's a win-win for everyone."– Gary Zipper

Gary uses his DAF to support several charitable causes, including Kennedy Krieger, to which his mother left a legacy gift. “After I make a gift of appreciated stock to my donor-advised fund, I can then distribute the funds away to various charities at my discretion. It’s a win-win for everybody,” he says. “I can benefit from the tax advantages, and Kennedy Krieger and the various charities are able to receive these much-needed funds.”

Visit the Planned Giving page to learn more about giving to the Institute via a DAF.