How to use a Schwab Charitable™ donor-advised fund account

How to use a Schwab Charitable™ donor-advised fund account

Schwab Charitable is an independent 501(c)(3) public charity Tooltip with a mission to increase charitable giving in the United States by providing a tax-smart and simple giving solution to donors and their advisors. A Schwab Charitable donor-advised fund Tooltip account can be a valuable wealth-planning tool that enables clients to give more strategically.

To grant to a charity using a Schwab Charitable account, clients will need the following:

All accounts
If you will be recommending grants for your clients, in addition to the information above, the following may be required:
For professionally managed accounts
  • A Schwab Charitable Investment Advisory Agreement form on file, signed by the advisor
  • A Schwab Charitable Agency Agreement for Conveying Account Holder's Grant Recommendations form (optional) on file, signed by the account holder and advisor
Using Charitable Center to complete process
  • Access Charitable Center Tooltip security function
Using forms to complete process
  • If recommending a grant, a completed Schwab Charitable Recommend a Grant to Charity form
  • If enrolling in the Schwab Charitable Legacy Program, a completed Schwab Charitable Update Succession Plan form

The client can initiate a contribution via Schwab Charitable Client Center, which can be accessed from Schwab.com or Schwab Alliance.

This process can be used to make irrevocable contributions to your client's Schwab Charitable account using a printed PDF.

  1. Navigate to the Schwab Charitable Contribute to Your Donor-Advised Fund Account form on Schwab Advisor Center® in the forms library and select Download PDF
  2. Complete all necessary fields.
  3. Print the form and obtain signatures from all account holders. Send the signed form via Schwab Advisor Center service request, via fax to Schwab Charitable at 877-535-3852, or via mail.
Standard delivery:
Schwab Charitable
P.O. Box 628298
Orlando, FL 32862
Overnight delivery:
Schwab Charitable
1958 Summit Park Dr., Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32810

Contact Schwab Charitable at 800-746-6216 or your Schwab Charitable Consultant for assistance with questions about Schwab Charitable, contributing complex assets, or converting a private foundation. If your firm does not currently have a relationship with Schwab Charitable, contact the Schwab Charitable Business Development team at 855-966-3764 or give@schwabcharitable.org.

Note: Do not send personal information through unsecured email channels. Send via the Schwab Advisor Center service request.

Schwab Charitable offers a powerful tool to support your clients' philanthropic goals and help you deepen engagement with your charitably minded clients.

The Schwab Charitable Giving Guide generates a customized giving planner which can be integrated into their overall financial plan. There is also an Advisor's Guide to the Schwab Charitable Giving Guide which provides helpful tips to consider when discussing charitable giving with clients. Get the Guides.

Depending on your role on the Schwab Charitable account, you may have privileges to invest and rebalance your clients' Schwab Charitable account. For professionally managed accounts, you use the Portfolio Rebalancer as you would other investment accounts through the Schwab Advisor Center.

For accounts utilizing Investment Pools to rebalance investments, use the Schwab Charitable Center.

  1. Go to the Accounts section at Schwab Advisor Center, select the More drop-down, and select Schwab Charitable Center.
  2. Click Rebalance Investments.
  3. Change the allocations.
  4. Review the allocations and click Submit

Note: You can verify on the acknowledgment screen that the rebalance is complete. This screen appears immediately after clicking Submit.   

Grant recommendations can be processed online via the Schwab Charitable Center for accounts if you have privileges to recommend a grant.

  1. Go to the Accounts section at Schwab Advisor Center, select the More drop-down, and select Schwab Charitable Center.
  2. Click Recommend a Grant.
  3. If your client has given a grant to the charity in the past, it will appear in the list, and you can click Grant Again.
  4. If your client is donating to a new charity, you can search for the charity by a key word, selecting the charity state, or entering the charity's tax identification number.
  5. From the Grant Details tab, enter the grant amount and, in the Acknowledgment area, enter any grant details. Click Continue.
  6. Verify the grant information, check the Certification boxes, and click Submit.

This process can be used to make grant recommendations out of your client's Schwab Charitable account using a printed PDF.

  1. Navigate to the Schwab Charitable Recommend a Grant to Charity form in the Forms library and select Download PDF
  2. Complete all necessary fields.
  3. Print the form and obtain signatures from all account holders. Send the signed form via Schwab Advisor Center service request, via fax to Schwab Charitable at 877-535-3852 or via mail.
Standard delivery:
Schwab Charitable
P.O. Box 628298
Orlando, FL 32862
Overnight delivery:
Schwab Charitable
1958 Summit Park Dr., Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32810

For Schwab Charitable linked accounts, you have access to all your clients' contribution and grant history, including access to copies of their charitable contribution receipts and copies of grant letters sent to charities they selected for grant recommendations.

  1. Go to the Accounts section at Schwab Advisor Center, select a Schwab Charitable account, and select Transactions.
  2. To view grant history, click Grant History. Details of the grant request can be found by clicking the charity name for the grant. Copies of the letter and check sent to the charity can be found in the Letters column.
  3. To view contribution history, click Contribution History. Copies of the letter and check sent to the charity can be found in the Contribution Letters column.
  4. For copies of statements, trade confirmations, and the Annual Account Summary, go to the Documents tab.

Schwab Charitable offers a Charitable Legacy Program to help your clients continue their philanthropic mission beyond their lifetime. Your clients may also want to designate their Schwab Charitable account as a beneficiary on their charitable remainder trust, IRAs, life insurance, bequests, or wills. This process can be used to enroll in the Charitable Legacy Program.

  1. Navigate to the Schwab Charitable Update Succession Plan form in the Forms library and select Download PDF
  2. Complete all necessary fields and in section 4 select option D – Recommend the Charitable Legacy Program.
  3. Print the form and obtain signatures from all account holders. Send the signed form via Schwab Advisor Center service request, via fax to Schwab Charitable at 877-535-3852 or via mail.
Standard delivery:
Schwab Charitable
P.O. Box 628298
Orlando, FL 32862
Overnight delivery:
Schwab Charitable
1958 Summit Park Dr., Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32810

You may have clients who opened accounts on their own. If you wish to have your master account linked to an existing account, go to the Forms library, use the Category filter to select Schwab Charitable forms, and complete the Update Your Financial Advisor Information form using a client’s name and account number.

If you will be recommending grants to charities on behalf of the client, complete the Schwab Charitable Agency Agreement, available in the Forms library.

Go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the forms below. 

Form: Schwab Charitable Agency Agreement for Conveying Account Holder's Grant Recommendations
Form: Schwab Charitable Account Application for Donor-Advised Fund Account
Form: Schwab Charitable Contribute to Your Donor-Advised Fund Account
Form: Schwab Charitable Investment Advisory Agreement
Form: Schwab Charitable Recommend a Grant to Charity
Form: Schwab Charitable Update Succession Plan
Form: Schwab Charitable Update Basic Account Information
Form: Schwab Charitable Update Investment Advisor & Account Conversion 
Form: Schwab Charitable Update Investment Pools
Resources: Schwab Charitable Frequently Asked Questions
Resources: Schwab Charitable Investment Policy Statement
Resources: How It Works—Program Policies

Whom do I call with questions about Schwab Charitable or complex assets?
Contact your Schwab Charitable Consultant. If your firm does not currently have a relationship with Schwab Charitable, contact the Schwab Charitable Business Development team at 855-966-3764 or give@schwabcharitable.org.

What kind of assets can my clients contribute?
Clients can contribute cash and publicly traded securities, including stocks, most mutual fund shares, and bonds. Some restricted or privately held stock may be accepted. Cash contributions must be made in U.S. dollars and delivered by check or wire only. Contribution forms are available online.

Schwab Charitable is also able to accept proceeds from tax-deductible contributions of real estate, private equity investments, cryptocurrency, or tangible personal property. Contributions of real estate, private equity, or tangible personal property are accepted, with proceeds of the donation transferred to an account upon liquidation. Call Schwab Charitable for more information at 800-746-6216.

How does Schwab Charitable determine the fair market value of my client's contribution?
Generally, fair market value (for purposes of the charitable contribution deduction) is determined on the date that contributions are received by Schwab Charitable. In the case of contributions of stock, fair market value is the average of the high and the low for the day that the assets were received by Schwab Charitable. In the case of contributions of mutual funds, fair market value is the closing price on the date of receipt. Securities are typically liquidated the following business day after receipt, so the fair market value for tax purposes may be different from the amount of sales proceeds credited to your account.

How to open a Schwab Charitable™ account
How to work with Schwab Advisor Center® security groups
How to work with Schwab Advisor Center® security features
Introduction to Schwab Charitable™

Educational videos

A Better Way to Give
Schwab Charitable account tutorial videos for advisors
Schwab Charitable account tutorial videos for donors
Tax Advantages of Donating Appreciated Assets

Giving strategies

Don't forget non-bash contributions
Contributing publicly traded securities to charity
Contributing post-IPO stock to charity
Contributing restricted stock to charity
Contributing privately held business interests to charity
Contributing real estate to charity
Contributing private equity fund interests to charity
Contributing art to charity
Contributing equity compensation awards
Contributing cryptocurrency