Managing Your Financial Gifts To Help Neighbors In Need

June 22, 2021
by Codi Smith, Individual Giving Manager at Rebuilding Together National

Donating to a nonprofit is such a personal and meaningful act. Sometimes it happens by way of volunteering for a project, posting a time sensitive social media post about disaster recovery or even a random Google search. For Guy Cecala, his involvement as a board member served as his launching pad to becoming active with Rebuilding Together.

Guy first heard about Rebuilding Together when he was approached by a search firm to serve on the board of the national organization. Given Guy has been actively involved with housing most of his life (he is CEO of a housing and mortgage market research firm), he was very interested in Rebuilding Together’s work and joined the board in 2016. Since joining the board, Guy has worked on a number of projects with several different affiliates.

Two volunteers standing on a porch, smiling and holding an empty box of a lighting fixture.
Guy Cecala and Don rebuilding as part of Building a Healthy Neighborhood in Baltimore (2017).

Often times part of serving on the board involves some level of fundraising or personal donation, and Guy consistently goes beyond what is required. His reasoning is that, “anyone who works on one of those projects and talks to residents will see how a small donation can make a big difference.” Additionally, Guy is keenly aware that the needs of our neighbors persist, and consistent giving allows for greater housing stability.

As someone who gives to multiple organizations, Guy found managing those various gifts a challenge. He and his wife decided to establish a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) as the most efficient way to manage their many donations. A DAF is an account established with the sole purpose of distributing donations to nonprofits. These funds are typically set up with financial institutions, community foundations or other nonprofits who only handle DAF operations.

Donor Advised Funds are sometimes compared to checking accounts, since the donor can track the number and total amount of annual gifts, who the gifts were sent to and the remaining account balance. These funds are also accessible to many donors as some funds do not require a minimum contribution and gifts can be made as low as $50.

As a DAF holder for approximately 15 years, Guy has found it to be very useful in gift giving as well as simplifying the decision-making process. For those who consistently support Rebuilding Together, they can do the same thing via DAF Direct—check it out on Rebuilding Together’s “Support Our Work” page.

Guy believes making a donation should be a joyful experience, and that's why we’re glad donors have a convenient way through DAF to make an impact.

Would you like to know more about making a donation through a Donor Advised Fund? Contact me, Codi Smith, at csmith@rebuildingtogether.org or (202) 518-3117.