By: Dan Ohman, LLA Board of Director

Article extracted from the Fall 2021 Lanier Outlook, our quarterly newsletter publication. 

Dan L Ohman Headshot

Donor-advised funds are philanthropic giving vehicles that allow individuals or families to deposit irrevocable charitable contributions/assets into a managed investment account and realize an immediate tax benefit (while invested contributions can accumulate over time tax free) without choosing a specific recipient right away. When the donor decides on a worthy recipient, they can send money from the account to the nonprofit organization of their choice as a grant. These accounts act like a charitable giving savings account, and have grown in popularity over the past decade with total assets quadrupling to more than $140 billion. The largest donor-advised fund sponsors include Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, Vanguard Charitable, and American Endowment Foundation. For a local option, the North Georgia Community Foundation, were the LLA office is located, provides community expertise, leadership and personalized service.

I would suggest reaching out to a financial/wealth and or tax advisor to learn more about whether a donor-advised fund would be a good tool to help your family achieve your philanthropic goals. The only downside to the popularity of these funds is that the tax benefit is immediate, but there is no time requirement for making the grants to worthy charitable organizations. That means there is a lot of money that has been irrevocably given and is sitting idle and not making a positive difference as intended by most charitable donors. The rest of this message is about asking you to take the next step in making a difference.

If you have been fortunate enough to create a giving legacy through a donor-advised fund and support the mission of the Lake Lanier Association, to keep our beautiful lake Clean Full and Safe, I would ask you to consider making a one time or ongoing distribution to the LLA to help us in our work to preserve and enhance Lake Lanier. As a reminder, our on-lake initiatives include:

  • Shore Sweep – Over 1,400 volunteers cleared 90 tons of trash from the shoreline in 2022
  • Solar Lights – Installation and maintenance to enhance night time navigation
  • Life Jacket Loaner Stations – 8 Stations installed, stocked, and maintained by LLA
  • Water Testing – Monthly to monitor water quality and algae levels
  • Annual Legislative Caucus – To advocate for Lake Lanier issues and opportunities
  • Island Shoreline Protection – Rip Rap installed for over 2 miles of linear shoreline
  • Abandoned and Derelict Dock and Boat Program – To ensure safe removal and enhance the beauty and useability of Lanier’s shoreline
  • Informational and Educational webinars and communications to keep our members informed about issues and opportunities

I would again ask those of you advancing your charitable giving through donor-advised funds to support as my family has chosen to do, the great work of the LLA in keeping our lake Clean Full and Safe. The Lake Lanier Association is easily searchable to advocate for grants through most if not all donor-advised funds, and charity search engines. Thank you for your consideration.


Lake Lanier Association is a 501c3 non-profit. | 615 Oak Street Gainesville, GA 30501 | Federal Tax ID: 58-126479