Find answers to your charitable-giving questions.
Yes. Donors may open a core account with a minimum initial contribution of $5,000. After the initial contribution, contributions of $500 or more may be made at any time.
The most common contributions are cash and appreciated unrestricted publicly traded securities, including stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual fund shares, and bonds. Appreciated non-cash assets—such as restricted or privately held stock, private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and tangible personal property—are accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Typically, accounts are opened and funded within one business day of the receipt of the initial contribution. In some cases (particularly if assets are being transferred from a financial institution other than Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.), the process can take several weeks. If the assets are coming from another financial institution and there is a concern about timing, Schwab Charitable recommends that you or your investment advisor contact the other institution and encourage it to expedite the transfer.
Schwab Charitable offers a variety of investment options depending on the account type.
Donors with a core donor-advised fund account (initial contribution of $5,000) can invest in a selection of investment pools.
Donors with a professionally managed account (minimum initial contribution of $250,000) may designate an investment advisor to invest the account in a broad range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds.
Donors may recommend a reallocation of the account assets at any time on Schwab.com or by using the Update Donor-Advised Account form. Schwab Charitable will invest all future contributions and fund all grants according to the most current requested portfolio asset allocation.
If a donor chooses not to recommend a portfolio asset allocation, Schwab Charitable will allocate 100% of the contribution to the Money Market Pool. Donors may recommend a reallocation of the account assets at any time via the Schwab Charitable website or the Schwab Mobile app, or by using the Update Donor-Advised Account form.
Donors may recommend grants to charities of choice from their Schwab Charitable account. Because contributions to a Schwab Charitable account receive associated tax benefits, they are irrevocable and legally owned by Schwab Charitable. Schwab Charitable reviews and processes grant recommendations. Grant recommendations are generally approved as long as the organizations are IRS-approved 501(c)(3) public charities and the grants comply with guidelines and restrictions specified in the Program Policies.
Grants from Schwab Charitable can be made for as little as $50, enabling donors to use their accounts to facilitate most of their charitable giving.
Grants of $50 or more can be recommended to qualified U.S. tax-exempt charities, or to U.S. state or local governmental organizations qualified to receive charitable contributions, such as state colleges, universities, private operating foundations, or certain international organizations. There is no limit to the number of grant recommendations that you may make from the account.
While there is no minimum balance requirement, an account cannot maintain a zero balance indefinitely. Please see the Schwab Charitable Program Policies for more details.
If Schwab Charitable has already granted to a charity and it remains IRS-approved, a personalized grant letter and check will generally be mailed to the charity within three to five business days. If Schwab Charitable has not previously granted to the charity, the due diligence process may take a bit longer depending on the type of the charity and how responsive the charity is. During peak activity periods at the end of the year, grants may take longer to issue.