What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Choosing the right Philanthropic vehicles is easier once you define what you want to accomplish with your giving. These are our top selections to help you choose wisely.
- A Comparison of Philanthropic Vehicles - It can be very confusing. In one page, here are the major differences between donor-advised funds, support organizations and private foundations. Depending on your interests and needs, this chart can help assist you in determining the most appropriate charitable giving vehicle. If that doesn't answer your question, keep searching around givingcompass.org, you'll find the answer! Quick Read (One page PDF)
- Tools for Good: A Guide to Vehicles for Philanthropy and Charitable Giving - A comprehensive survey of available vehicles for giving with greater impact, a 50-page guide on giving vehicles, with summaries on benefits and drawbacks of all methods. For new and experienced philanthropists, it teaches "how" to do philanthropy and provides real-life examples and/or case studies about philanthropy. Medium read (it takes 20 minutes to one hour and can read it on the go as it is a downloadable PDF.)
- The Right Philanthropic Vehicle, by Laura Peebles - A comprehensive survey of available vehicles for giving with greater impact, with a focus on financial and tax issues. For new and experienced philanthropists, it teaches "how" to do philanthropy and provides real-life examples and/or case studies about philanthropy. Medium read (it takes 20 minutes to one hour)
- Finding the Right Giving Vehicles for Your Mission - The right charitable vehicle for your philanthropy depends on your goals and charitable objectives. Each giving entity offers you a different level of control and varying levels of responsibilities with regard to the distribution, management, and investment of your assets. And some charitable vehicles will support your philanthropic objectives and mission better than others. By matching the appropriate giving vehicle to your philanthropic mission, you will improve your chances of achieving your objectives and, over time, preserving your intentions. Long read (takes an hour or longer, so you probably want to set aside time to focus when reading this - Downloadable PDF for reading on the go)
- What is a Private Operating Foundation, and When Should Families Consider This Option? - Some donor families begin with – or identify over time – a more direct vision for what they wish to accomplish. They may decide to use the majority of their charitable dollars to create and manage programs and services for a particular neighborhood, or they may wish to develop, support and conduct original research on a specific area of interest. For those donors, the private operating foundation may be the preferred choice of charitable giving vehicle. A private operating foundation is “a special form of a private foundation which uses the bulk of its income to actively run its own charitable programs or services." Quick read (takes less than 20 minutes, and can read on the go)
- LLCs as Philanthropic Vehicles - People have questioned the benefits of choosing to forgo the traditional private foundation in favor of an LLC, this article provides useful insights - Quick read (takes less than 20 minutes, and can read on the go)
- Wiser Giving Wizard - The Wizard condenses expertise from leading philanthropic, legal, and wealth advisors into valuable insights for you. In just seven questions, the Wizard matches your charitable, financial, and personal goals with the right charitable giving vehicles. Only you will see your answers, be as honest as you can. Interactive Tool