Frequently Asked Questions for Donors

  1. WHY BENEFUNDER?
  2. WHAT IS A DONOR-ADVISED FUND?
  3. IS MY DONATION TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
  4. HOW MUCH OF MY DONATION GOES DIRECTLY TO THE RESEARCHER?
  5. HOW DOES BENEFUNDER GET PAID?
  6. HOW DO I KNOW THE RESEARCH WILL BE A SUCCESS?
  7. WHAT IF A RESARCHER CHANGES DIRECTION OR RETIRES, OR A RESEARCH PROGRAM TERMINATES?
  8. HOW DOES BENEFUNDER HANDLE PRIVACY?

WHY BENEFUNDER?

It might seem counterintuitive, but it can be very expensive and time consuming to fund research. Research and development is what drives our economy and competitiveness, generating most of our cures, technological advances, and new knowledge and thought leadership regarding key societal issues.  In fact, it’s the best way to solve underlying issues that affect our society long term. We make it easy, efficient, and very fulfilling to engage in supporting research and innovation.

Benefunder’s marketplace and services allow donors to have greater impact in their giving. By facilitating unprecedented access, efficiency, and engagement, in combination with expert guidance, we’re changing the giving landscape for the benefit of donors, advisors and researchers alike.

Benefunder provides a viable new option for donors looking to have impact. Public charities tend to have very high overhead, don’t allow you to select programs, and rarely share outcomes. On the other hand, private foundations require administrative work and expert guidance for targeted grantmaking, which can mean high costs, long funding cycles, and audit risk, with no guarantees of access to the desired programs.

Benefunder provides donors the opportunity to select individual programs from a large list of vetted researchers. Our structure allows for highly efficient giving by offering the lowest overhead and significantly reducing the cost of due diligence on where to give. By directly funding researchers and research programs, the donor is assured maximum impact for every dollar they give. Benefunder allows donors the ability to fund multiple researchers across institutions simultaneously, which helps to sustain existing collaborations among research labs or to create new ones.

Our platform provides for direct feedback from researchers to donors on the status and progress of their work, allowing the donor to see the impact of their giving.

WHAT IS A DONOR-ADVISED FUND?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a tax-deductible investment account that can make distributions over time to any number of charitable causes. DAFs are offered primarily through financial institutions and community foundations. DAF accounts are usually managed by a financial advisor or the DAF administrator.

DAFs are a low-cost, low-risk solution that offers full tax benefit along with low administrative costs. They work as a stand-alone solution or in conjunction with a private foundation (or other structure) as they represent a qualified charitable distribution.

For more information and for a list of Benefunder DAF partners, contact us at

info@benefunder.org.

IS MY DONATION TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

Yes. Donor-advised funds are charitable 501(c)3 entities and all donations are therefore tax deductible in the U.S. You will receive an official tax-deductible receipt after making a donation. Prospective donors should consult with their tax advisor about the advantages and tax implications of donor-advised funds. 

HOW MUCH OF MY DONATION GOES DIRECTLY TO THE RESEARCHER?

Benefunder delivers 100% of every philanthropic distribution to the academic institutions for the benefit of the individual researcher. Distributions are made as a gift under the standard policies of the institution with which the researcher is affiliated, which can range from 0-15%. Benefunder makes these fees transparent to donors ahead of time. 

HOW DOES BENEFUNDER GET PAID?

Benefunder’s fees are paid by the donor through their DAF account. A simple 10% of each transaction is billed to the DAF account. The combined service and university gift fees make Benefunder the most efficient way to deploy capital to research, while still staying engaged in the process.

HOW DO I KNOW THE RESEARCH WILL BE A SUCCESS?

Research programs on the Benefunder platform represent a spectrum of opportunities, from exploratory (high risk) to basic (fundamental knowledge generation) to more translational or applied research (closer to  commercialization). Academic research provides no guarantee as to the outcomes of any one program but offers a tremendous opportunity of value for our society.

WHAT IF A RESARCHER CHANGES DIRECTION OR RETIRES, OR A RESEARCH PROGRAM TERMINATES?

Donors will receive an update notifying them of such events in their portfolio. Benefunder will work closely with donors to find new opportunities of interest. 

HOW DOES BENEFUNDER HANDLE PRIVACY?

We value our clients and we take their privacy seriously. Benefunder collects and uses personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses when a donor provides it to us. The personal information collected by Benefunder is used solely for purposes of processing donations, suggesting researchers that match a donor's profile, record keeping and similar restricted purposes. We will not sell, trade or share a donor's personal information with anyone else or with any other organization. Benefunder keeps a record of each donor's distributions. This information is kept on file for internal use to analyze overall giving patterns for future projections and statistical analysis. Donors are subject to the terms and conditions of the DAF agreement with their DAF administrator. A donor may review, change, or correct personal contact information or make changes to recorded preferences on benefunder.org, or by contacting us directly through email (info@benefunder.org) or phone (858-215-1136).

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