When the Donor-Advised Fund is the Gift - The New York Community Trust
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November 3, 2022   |   By The New York Community Trust
When the Donor-Advised Fund is the Gift

Stuart Cornfeld, who produced several films, including Zoolander and Starsky & Hutch, created 10 donor-advised funds through his will for friends and family. Photo by Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock

Giving is a joy for the giver. One powerful way to multiply that joy is to give someone a donor-advised fund, or DAF, to celebrate a birthday or wedding, or honor a loved one who has passed. This giving season we’re taking a look at how one man’s generosity came to life through gifts to charity that were also a tribute to friendship.   

When noted film producer Stuart Cornfeld died in 2020, he left ten of his friends and family a memorable gift in his will. With a portion of his residuary estate left to The New York Community Trust, he surprised them with donor-advised funds he had established in their names. Some were family or lifelong friends. Others were screenwriters, actors, and comedians he met during his career.

Recipients said these gifts were a powerful testament to their friendship and served as a regular reminder of everything they loved about Stuart. They’ve spoken about what a pleasure and honor it is to give money away to organizations they care about in Stuart’s memory, and some have added their own contributions to his to amplify their fund’s impact still more. 

Stuart’s creative approach to legacy giving offers an inspiring blueprint on how to leave an enduring and meaningful gift for those you love that helps others at the same time. 

Of course, creating funds through your estate in this way is just one option—you can set up funds for friends and family today as well. 

When you create a new donor-advised fund for a friend or loved one and turn the reins over to them, they can make grants to the charities of their choice. Many of our donors have done this for their children and grandchildren—it’s a wonderful way of continuing a family tradition of generosity and, at the same time, allowing the younger generations to develop their own charitable priorities and execute these independently. In joining the community of Trust donors, they will have the support of our staff and access to free donor briefings and other events.

You can set up a new fund in this way through a transfer from your existing fund or through a new contribution to The Trust, using a variety of assets ranging from appreciated securities to an old-fashioned paper check. Please note that our donor-advised funds should exist for at least five years and maintain a balance of at least $5,000.

Once the fund is set up, we’ll introduce the new advisors to everything they need to know to get started making grants. To discuss your options and learn more, contact John Oddy, vice president of donor relations, at jjo@nyct-cfi.org or (212) 686-2564. We look forward to hearing from you! 

 

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Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marty Lipp
Communications Director
(212) 889-3963 
mbl@nyct-cfi.org

Amy Wolf
Director of Marketing
(646) 214-1004
aw@nyct-cfi.org

Get our media kit

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