Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Philanthropic mutual fund

In 1991 Fidelity investments introduced the charitable gift fund. There are now billions of dollars in assets under management at mutual fund company donor advised funds.

In 2008 the Davlin Philanthropic Fund launched the first no-load mutual fund in which investment fees are donated to charity and mutual fund returns remain in the hands of investor. The funds are managed by The Davlin Funds, which donates a portion of overall fees to the Davlin Foundation (a 501 c 3 private foundation) which then distributes resources to charitable organizations:

"The Davlin Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, private foundation, is the philanthropic arm of the Davlin Philanthropic Funds and is directed by an independent Board of Trustees whose purpose is to fulfill the chartable recommendations of the Davlin Fund investors. Based upon the guidance from investors, the Foundation disburses the donations it receives from the Davlin Fund to the eligible 501(c)3 philanthropic charities on the Davlin Foundation approved list. In addition, the Trustees review recommendations for additions to the approved charities list. Finally, the Davlin Foundation focuses on donor education by promoting sustainable giving or increased, strategic and cost-effective charitable giving over an extended period of time."

The Board of Trustees of The Davlin Foundation:

William E. B. Davlin – President, The Davlin Foundation.

Lawrence K. DeLamarter – Owner & Creative Director, DeLamarter Advertising Services.

James F. Dwinell III – (Chairman) Retired President & CEO, Cambridge Trust Company.

G. Keith Funston Jr. – Owner, Funston Antiques.

George E. McCully – President & CEO, Catalogue for Philanthropy.

J. Rodman Wright – Senior Vice President, Head of Value Team & Portfolio Manager, Pioneer Investment Management, Inc.

According to the press release:

"...the Davlin Funds will donate at least one third of the Fund’s fees to a non-profit foundation that will then distribute the money to a charity with the guidance of the investors. In addition to these donations, the investment advisor, Davlin Fund Advisors, has agreed to forgo any management fee that could be deemed as a profit to the advisor. These forgone management fees will augment the donations already committed."
Buzzword generated by the idea: "Sustainable giving" - see if it sticks. The mutual fund industry had $12.292 TRILLION in assets under management as of June, 2008 - so even a small percentage of the fees on those assets are significant. We'll see if the model takes off.

Note, as of this posting Guidestar did not yet have a 990-PF for the Davlin Foundation. The Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator had no filings. Here is the SEC's info.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with the Davlin Funds - all of the information above came from a press release and internet searches. I have attended conferences with one of the board members listed. This post is informational only and not a solicitation or recommendation of any sort.

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