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How to Recommend a Grant

When you establish a Donor-Advised Account, you have the luxury of time to consider which charitable organizations to recommend supporting while being eligible for an immediate federal income tax deduction. You may make periodic grant recommendations at your leisure and/or you may request that grants recur on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. You need only a few minutes to recommend a grant in one of the following ways

  • Make a Grant Recommendation online.
  • Download and print a Grant Recommendation Form and send the completed form to ABE. (When you print this form, please make sure your paper size is set to LEGAL, or 8 1/2" x 14".)
  • Request that a Grant Recommendation Form be faxed or mailed to you by calling 800-621-8981, extension 6408.

If you establish a Specific Donee Account, you must designate on the account opening application the charitable organization(s) that will receive distributions from the account, the frequency of grants, and grant amounts. You can download the form for establishing a Specific Donee Account using the free program Adobe Acrobat©.

Flexibility in Giving

Grants are made from ABE Charitable Gift Accounts to charitable organizations that qualify as public charities under federal tax law, including universities, colleges, and governmental instrumentalities; GuideStar offers a list of many (not all) eligible charities and the information needed to fill out a grant recommendation. If you select one of the GuideStar listed organizations, many of the fields on the grant recommendations form will automatically be filled in for you. Some qualifying organizations, such as churches, state universities, governmental instrumentalities and foreign organizations that are the functional equivalent of a public charity or governmental instrumentality, are not listed on GuideStar. Contact ABE at 1-800-621-8981, extension 6408 to help ensure that these organizations qualify for charitable grants.

If ABE approves your grant recommendation, ABE will send a check and a letter attributing the grant to the Charitable Gift Account you created, unless you request anonymity.

Policies of Note

We require that each grant equal $250 or more. ABE may also require that Donors recommend grants totaling at least five percent of the balances of the accounts they created annually if the total grants from ABE and the ABE Charitable Gift Fund do not total at least five percent of the net assets on a fiscal five year rolling basis (unless the IRS requires that the 5% be distributed solely from the ABE Charitable Gift Fund). A minimum balance of $2,500 must be maintained in an ABE Charitable Gift Account at all times. Grants may not be used to fulfill pledges to charitable organizations.


"Philanthropy is very important to me and my family. The ABE offers a great vehicle for managing charitable giving called the Charitable Gift Fund (CGF). The CGF allows ABA Members to make a donation for which they receive an immediate tax deduction. When convenient, donors can then recommend donations to other charitable organizations of his or her choosing. ABE handles all the paperwork, so philanthropy becomes what it should be - easy!"

I. S. Leevy Johnson
ABA Member/ABE Director
ABE member since 1968

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