Compliance Reporter Quotes J. William Gray on Donor Advised Funds

August 27, 2018

Richmond counsel J. William Gray Jr. discussed the evolution of donor advised funds in an Aug. 17 Compliance Reporter story about a lawsuit accusing a charitable gift fund of mishandling the liquidation of donated stocks.

Gray’s practice focuses on nonprofit, tax-exempt and charitable advisory services, estate planning, charitable giving, trust and estate administration, and fiduciary litigation. In an interview with Compliance Reporter, he explained why donor advised funds have become popular in the last two decades and addressed critics’ concerns about how distributions from the funds are made.

“They have really come into the public’s attention and become particularly useful as charitable contributions in the last 20 years,” Gray said. “Donor advised funds allow a donor to make a gift that is treated for tax purpose like a gift to a public charity, but which allows the donor to maintain some involvement, some degree of advisory function over the gift.”

He noted that some critics have raised concerns “that without some mandatory payout requirement the funds that are held in donor advised funds will just remain invested there and never get out into the actual stream of charitable commerce to be used to fund current activities.”

Gray also co-authored an Aug. 14 legal alert on donor advised funds.