When to consider granting money anonymously

One of the major benefits of granting through a donor-advised fund is that community foundations take on the administrative aspects of giving. Once a fund holder requests a grant, the community foundation handles vetting the grantee, check processing and distribution. A letter is included with each check that includes the donor’s name and mailing address for acknowledgements. However, if a donor requests to be anonymous, the donor’s information is excluded from the letter.

Why might a donor want to give a gift anonymously? Is anonymous giving something you should consider? There are several reasons why anonymous gifting might be the right option for you or your family:

You want to alleviate donor relations work a nonprofit has to perform.
Many nonprofit organizations have robust donor relations programs that require handwritten thank yous, specialized invitations to events, and targeted communication outreach, among other things. This is a lot of work for nonprofit organizations that are working tirelessly to support their clients. By giving anonymously, you can support the organization without adding another donor to their donor relations docket.

You generally prefer privacy.
Some companies and families choose to remain known so that recognition of their gifts may drive awareness and further support for the respective organization, especially among extended family or professional circles. You’ve likely seen sponsors and donors highlighted at annual galas, sporting events and other large gatherings. Sometimes seeing others’ commitment to giving back can spark a desire in our own hearts – there is definitely a time and a place for it! But if you want to give a gift at a high level and prefer your name not be flashed on a screen, you can give a gift anonymously. This allows you to give to organizations you love without your gift amount or name being associated with the organization.

Your gift is a one-time gift and you don’t want to be solicited for future gifts.
Say tragedy strikes across the country and you feel led to donate to disaster support efforts. You can use your donor-advised fund to make that grant request. But because the organization is outside of your community, you don’t plan to give to the organization more than once. By giving anonymously, your information will be withheld from the organization. Therefore, you cannot be solicited by the organization for future gifts.

Your career makes anonymity the best option.
Depending upon your career, it may be in your best interest to give gifts anonymously. For example, if you are a pastor, it is fair to assume that your congregants seek to follow your wisdom and advice. There are thousands of worthy Christian nonprofits out there that your congregants can bless with gifts. If you publically give to one of them, that might sway your congregation to invest in that organization rather than spreading their gifts across ministries as they feel called. Giving anonymously prevents this from happening.