Advised Funds

What will your ocean legacy be?

You love the ocean. What makes it special for you? Healthy beaches? Vibrant corals? Abundant fish? Our role is to help you make sure that when you invest in the ocean, your gift reflects your interests and values. And that vision can evolve over time without the need to make snap decisions based on a deadline that you don't control. 

Let The Ocean Foundation assist you in targeting your grantmaking so that it reflects your interests and values. We have the experts, the research, and the time - thus streamlining the process of shaping your portfolio of ocean donations for the maximum effect. Our work is personalized, professional and confidential.  It is also timely and well informed by the most up to date research.  We will take you beyond the usual for a more authentic philanthropic experience because we strive to develop strong, long-term relationships and believe that honest, direct communication is the cornerstone to our success.  

  • You can make an unrestricted donation in which we will allocate your money to mission critical needs or we can help you set up a fund based on what you are passionate about in the ocean.
  • Your irrevocable tax-deductible contribution to set up an advised fund is the ultimate way to invest in helping the ocean.
  • With an advised fund you reap the maximum tax benefits compared to starting or donating to a private foundation.
  • You choose your level of involvement and TOF will take care of the rest from accounting and paperwork to introducing you, the grantor, to the grantee.
  • We make your donating your money or setting up your own foundation more effective, more rewarding and more enjoyable by removing all of the tedious work.

Donor Advised Fund

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable vehicle that allows you to recommend monetary distributions to and philanthropic or mission related investments in organizations of your choice through The Ocean Foundation. Having your donations given on your behalf allows you to enjoy the full benefits of tax exemption and avoid the costs of creating a private foundation.


A charitable donation to create a DAF gives you the opportunity to receive immediate tax advantages and allows you to advise on the donation of your funds. By establishing a DAF with The Ocean Foundation, you can:

  • Create a charitable legacy for you or your family.
  • Choose anonymity or recognition depending on your needs.
  • Save time and money by outsourcing to us the back room and shared services function of running your DAF, so you can concentrate your effort on maximizing its exposure and effectiveness.
  • Establish and name your own fund quickly and easily, as well as establish your own website, logo, and communications under the DAF name, should you choose to.
  • Remove year-end giving pressure while receiving an immediate tax deduction; unlike a private foundation, there is no payout obligation with a DAF, donors receive their tax deduction as soon as they make a contribution.
  • Recommend the recipients for the fund's grants while being given guidance from a team of subject matter experts with proven successes in research, advocacy, governance, and sound business management on projects related to marine and environmental issues.
  • Have the flexibility to contribute cash, securities, real estate, and/or other assets.
  • And most importantly, help save the planet’s oceans.


As a legally incorporated and registered 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, The Ocean Foundation operates as a community foundation dedicated to the conservation of the coasts and ocean.  By choosing TOF as the host of your project or fund, you can minimize the amount of time and money you must spend on infrastructure and administration, and thus maximize your impact on the oceans. Your DAF will have the legally vetted and time-tested best practice policies and benefits in place for grants distribution, personnel, and operations.

The services provided by The Ocean Foundation include the financial oversight, administrative support, legal compliance, tax reporting and annual audit that are a necessary part of running a nonprofit enterprise.  In addition, depending on your particular needs, we can provide project consulting, grant administration, contract management, fundraising advice, investment strategy, and a variety of other services.

Want our research and advice but don't need an advised fund at TOF? Visit our consulting page

Three Functions of a DAF:

  1. Fund Investment - Your donated funds are managed by TOF’s financial services partner (or your own advisor if you wish and your DAF is over $1 million).
  2. Administration - TOF manages all aspects of the DAF; we provide oversight of all the revenues and expenditures, monthly financial reports, budgetary tracking, payment of all invoices, audit and governmental reporting, all tax returns, and training in budget preparation and financial management. A DAF at TOF offers the additional advantage of putting administrative fees to work on behalf of ocean conservation, as these fees help to support TOF’s work with grantees, advisors, and the community of those concerned with the oceans.
  3. Grantmaking - TOF’s greatest value-added comes from providing you with all the support you need to make wise and effective ocean conservation grants.

Contact Mark J. Spalding for more information on how you can create a Donor Advised Fund today!

Committee Advised Fund

A Committee Advised Fund (CAF) at The Ocean Foundation offers you an easy way both to develop your philanthropic plan and to manage your legacy.  A CAF is substantially similar to a DAF, except that the grantmaking advice comes from a committee established by TOF and the donor to provide an expert panel to advise TOF's board in grantmaking, scholarships or other awards from the fund.

Resort Partnerships at The Ocean Foundation are a special type of Committee Advised Fund; they support local conservation, sustainability, and long-term positive community development with 1% of the proceeds from coastal and island developments.  To learn more about our resort partnerships model, download our resort partnership information sheet.

To learn more about our current advised funds, visit our partnership page.