March 25, 2022

Investing with Faith / Kimberly Pohovey

Couple finds joy in sharing their gifts through Donor-Advised Funds

Kimberly PohoveyGiving is something we do naturally. We give to family and friends, neighbors, our parish, schools from which we graduated or our children now attend, the ministries that care for us in difficult times. When we are blessed, we want to pass it on. Gratitude inspires generosity.

Sometimes, we experience a life event that is accompanied by an unusual financial windfall. It might be an inheritance, the sale of a business, an employee bonus, or a company grant of stock options. Whatever the cause, our seasons of abundance can also be fresh opportunities to share with others over the long term, even if we have yet to decide which initiatives we want to support. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) are designed for this purpose.

Donor-advised funds are established through a sponsoring charity—for instance, the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. DAFs are easy to set up with a low minimum investment of $5,000. Because contributions to a DAF are at the donor’s discretion, they can be helpful in reducing taxable income, while still providing the flexibility to distribute the total donation over several years.

John and Melissa Duffy created their DAF about 10 years ago. “We were both raised in a culture of giving back. It’s not just culturally what we believe; it’s a big part of who we are,” said John in a recent conversation.

As a financial professional, John was well aware of the benefits of a DAF. The Duffy’s knew that giving to archdiocesan and other Catholic charities was going to be a part of their financial planning. But they didn’t know what it would be year in and year out.

“The beauty of the fund for us was that we didn’t have to decide what to give to all at once. The needs aren’t the same every year, but our desire to fund initiatives is,” Melissa noted.

The CCF manages DAFs like the Duffy’s with prudent and responsible investments that align with Catholic teaching. DAF-gifted assets which can include cash, stocks, bonds and mutual funds grow tax-free within a pool of funds, much like an endowment. That means more funds for the initiatives and ministries a donor wishes to support. John added the process of making gifts through the online portal couldn’t be easier.

For John and Melissa, having a hands-on vehicle to support the charities they believe in has brought them great satisfaction and joy.

“We are committed to supporting Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary [in Indianapolis] and the vocational needs of the Church,” John said. “We also value what Holy Family Shelter [in Indianapolis] provides, as well as the grade schools and high schools our children attended,” said Melissa.

The Duffy’s have also directed some of their DAF to support qualifying Catholic charities outside the archdiocese. Annual contributions ensure that the Duffy’s will be in the business of giving for years to come. In fact, it’s possible to name successors and continue a family legacy of giving across generations.

In establishing their DAF, John and Melissa expressed that they had a positive experience working with the team at the Catholic Community Foundation.

“If you’re blessed enough to be able to give back, it’s an opportunity as well as an obligation. We are fortunate in the archdiocese to have talented professionals who can provide guidance for individuals and families who want to give,” John noted, “but it’s up to us to start the conversation.”

Is a DAF right for you? Contact us at or call 317-236-1482 for more information.

(Kimberly Pohovey is the director of major and planned gifts for the archdiocese. Tax or legal information provided herein is not intended as tax or legal advice. Always consult with your legal, tax or financial advisors before implementing any gift plan. If you would like to learn more about including your parish in your estate plans, please contact us any time. We exist to exclusively serve you and your parish in planned giving. For more information on the CCF, visit, e-mail ccf@, or call 317-236-1482.)

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