Benefits of Partnership

A partnership with MCF transforms your giving. When you open a fund at MCF, we’ll take the time to understand the ideal level of involvement you want in your giving. And tailor our services to your needs.

Here are a few of the many benefits you'll enjoy when you choose to partner with MCF for your giving.


Low Fees

MCF is proud to offer some of the most competitive fees in the country. And there is never a fee for opening any type of fund at the foundation.

Administrative Fee Schedule

We have designed a fee schedule using a sliding scale model, which begins at .75% for the first $500,000 and scales down to .12% as fund balances increase.

Fund Balance

Up to $500,000
The next $500,000 - $5 million
The next $5 million-$20 million
The next $20 million - $30 million
Over $30 million

Service Fee


Investment Fees: MCF does not charge any investment fees, but third-party fees charged by investment managers are passed through to each fund. These typically range between 5 and 100 basis points annually, depending on the donor's investment allocation between the professionally-managed investment pools. 

Expense on the Sale of Gifts: When brokers, agents, or others charge fees for liquidating stocks or other assets - such as real estate - made as gifts to a fund, these fees are passed through to the fund. 

International Grantmaking: Virtuoso funds enjoy complimentary international grantmaking. 

Venture Impact Program (VIP): All Enhanced and Virtuoso funds enjoy complimentary access to VIP, MCF's impact investing program.

The Lens: All Enhanced and Virtuoso funds enjoy complimentary access to The Lens, a tool that allows a gender or racial equity framework to be applied to your giving.


Tax Benefits

Because donor-advised funds at MCF are covered under our public charity status, they enjoy significant tax advantages over both informal giving and private foundations.

  • Use cash gifts to fund your account and receive an immediate income tax deduction up to 60% of adjusted gross income.
  • Use publicly-traded securities to fund your account and receive an immediate income tax deduction of fair market value up to 30% of adjusted gross income. 
  • Use real estate or closely-held securities to fund your account and receive an immediate tax deduction of fair market value up to 30% of adjusted gross income. 

In addition, with donor-advised funds, there are no tax returns to file, no excise taxes to pay and no distribution requirements – all tasks that are required for private foundations.


Flexible Funding

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to open a fund, or add to an existing fund. So feel free to use any of the assets below to do so. Learn more

  • Cash
  • Securities, including publicly-traded stock, publicly-traded bonds, closely-held stock, restricted stock and mutual funds.
  • Real estate
  • Personal property, such as art or jewelry
  • Transfer of a private foundation or other philanthropic assets
  • Royalties and distribution rights
  • Business interests, including partnerships and interests in LLC's
  • Bequests
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plan assets
  • Cryptocurrencies


Minimal Administration

You can open a donor-advised fund at MCF within a couple of hours – and start making an impact immediately.

  • There are no start-up costs. 
  • There is no minimum contribution. 
  • There are no distribution requirements. 
  • Your fund can be accessed and managed 24 hours a day at our secure online Giving Center. Make grant recommendations, track gifts to your fund and grants made from your fund, learn about matching grant opportunities, and so much more – all in one convenient location.


Personalized Service

When you open a fund at MCF, we take the time to understand the ideal level of involvement you want in your giving. And tailor our services to your needs.

If you desire a deep level of engagement in your philanthropy, we offer:

  • A dedicated Senior Philanthropic Advisor will be your partner. We have designed our service model so that our advisors manage small portfolios — meaning you’ll get the individual attention and focused expertise your giving deserves. 
  • Custom research on issues and organizations — locally or globally — provided upon request. Site visits can also be arranged, along with introductions to senior leadership at nonprofit organizations. 
  • Access to exclusive philanthropic curricula. This can cover a wide variety of topics, from deepening your knowledge in specific interest areas, to developing a strategic giving plan, to embarking upon family giving, and more.
  • International grantmaking with all due diligence handled, if you’re looking to tackle challenges beyond our boundaries (complimentary for Virtuoso funds). 
  • Invitations to curated events and experiences with topic experts and community leaders. 

These services are automatically provided to Enhanced and Virtuoso Funds. For funds with a balance under this level, these services can be accessed via an annual service fee of $3,750.

For fund balances under $500,000, and who prefer a more straightforward experience, we have designed a service that is streamlined and efficient. Core financial, legal, fund succession and administrative benefits will be provided and philanthropic staff will always be available to offer timely gifting and grantmaking assistance. These funds will also have access to topical issue briefs, an electronic resource library, and online educational videos and articles.


Issue Knowledge

We have been the philanthropic hub of Marin since 1987, so our roots – and our knowledge – run deep.

Our philanthropic team members have completed rigorous courses to ensure the highest levels of proficiency. They have the resources and access to expertise that enables them to develop giving plans that are deeply strategic and tailored to your specific interests.

They also collaborate closely with MCF’s Program Directors who oversee Buck Family Fund grantmaking in Marin. As they work directly with nonprofits, schools and civic organizations throughout the county, they have a very current understanding of the issues affecting our region and its people.

You can be confident that if you have questions about issues here in the county, or anywhere in the world, we have the resources to address them.


Global Reach

We recognize that your passions and interests don't come with geographic boundaries. So if you want to direct your giving to help support causes and organizations that are based overseas, we'll make it as easy and effective as possible.

We'll conduct due diligence on the organizations you want to support, regardless of location, so you can trust that you're dealing with an entity that complies with all U.S. laws. And we keep abreast of global philanthropic trends, so you can be sure you’re making decisions based on current knowledge.

For information about opening a fund, please contact

Henderson andrea linkedin
Andrea Henderson

Senior Director, Philanthropic Planning

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