Creating your Charitable Legacy Program
Continue your charitable legacy:

Extend your philanthropy beyond your lifetime

Three ways to continue giving through your account

Half of Schwab Charitable donors view charitable giving as a key aspect of their overall legacy.* These donors say it is important to leave a lasting impact on charitable causes close to their hearts and set children or grandchildren up to continue their giving beyond their lifetime.

While you may have charitable legacy intentions with your donor-advised fund account, execution of your intentions is best ensured with a succession plan. Schwab Charitable allows you to select any one or combination of three options:

Three ways


  • Support charitable organizations beyond your lifetime.

    Recommend family members or other individuals as successors on your account.

  • Recommend successors and up to six charitable organizations as grant recipients.

    Recommend charities as beneficiaries of final grants of your account balance.

  • Increase giving to valued charities while reducing estate taxes.

    Recommend charities for recurring grants over a specific timeframe (Schwab Charitable Legacy Program).

Schwab Charitable Legacy Program

Schwab Charitable Legacy Program

You may enroll in the program and maintain your eligibility with a minimum balance of $100,000 for a core account or $250,000 for a professionally managed account. The program requires a distribution of at least 5% of your account balance each year for a minimum of five years.

Additional ways to continue your charitable legacy

A succession plan for your donor-advised fund account typically is part of an overall estate planning strategy, and the plan's primary objective is continuing donations with maximum charitable impact while reducing estate taxes. Your estate planning strategy may also include naming your donor-advised fund account or another person's donor-advised fund account as a beneficiary of testamentary contributions from your:

  • Brokerage, savings, or checking account
  • Retirement plan account or IRA
  • Will
  • Revocable living trust
  • Charitable remainder trust
  • Life insurance policy

Enrolling in succession plans

Naming or updating individual successors or charitable beneficiaries online is simple. When you log in to your account, go to the Services tab and then click on Successors and Beneficiaries. You may also use our Account Update form for these two options and for the Schwab Charitable Legacy Program.

Related resources

  • Article

    Legacy planning

    grandfather with grandson sitting on his shoulders in a park

    Obtain ideas you can use in discussions with your family members and advisors.

  • Podcast

    Intergenerational giving

    Giving with impact

    Hear about successful strategies for involving family in philanthropic activities.

  • Video

    Four generations

    See Elizabeth describe how her family has passed down the tradition of philanthropy.

Succession plan FAQs

What methods are available for allocating assets among successors and/or charitable beneficiaries?
Beyond my lifetime, what account privileges do other account holders and account users retain?
What role do my contingent successors or contingent charitable beneficiaries play?

* What Does Legacy Mean to You, Schwab Charitable Donor Forum, 2021