Donor Advised Funds

Donor advised funds (DAFs) at Tides Foundation provide our partners with an efficient, high-impact way to champion social justice leaders driving change.

What is a Donor Advised Fund?

A donor advised fund is a tool for transforming philanthropic dollars into social impact. It allows donors to make a tax-deductible contribution, then advise on the causes and organizations they’d like the fund to support.  

Not all DAF providers are created equal. At Tides, our mission is our difference. Our donors have the privilege of recommending investments that align with our mission to shift power to communities that face systemic barriers, channeling their funds into meaningful action to build a more just and equitable world.

Learn More About DAFs at Tides

Donor Advised Fund Offerings

Donors can choose the level of advising they need to turn their vision into action for social justice.

  • Core Fund Management

    All donor advised funds at Tides include core fund management from a designated Tides advisor. Get support from an advisor who can recommend high-impact funding opportunities, track money in and out, and meet strict governance and compliance standards to ensure ethical grantmaking.

  • Customized Services

    Tides advisors can amplify donor priorities through customized support that facilitates the fund’s work. We offer programmatic expertise and personalized grantmaking guidance, and we serve as strategic thought partners on the tools and initiatives donors can use to strengthen the power of proximate leaders.

Why Tides?

Tides delivers the values, expertise, and connections to turn social justice philanthropy into equitable impact within communities denied power, including BIPOC communities and other historically excluded groups.

Get Off Your Assets

We believe that donor advised funds should be a tool to shift and build power — not a tax haven. We inspire our donors to make grant recommendations that mobilize 20 to 30 percent of their funds every year to advance social justice, including grants to fuel the work of proximate leaders and the charitable or educational work of mission-aligned 501(c)(4)s. 


We’re deeply connected to changemakers across the social sector who are committed to solving the biggest social justice issues of our time. Through Tides Foundation, our partners can forge relationships with other mission-aligned funders and social change leaders to make headway faster.


Tides has deep issue area expertise and experience with funds management and grantmaking, paired with a proactive in-house legal team that powers our creative and compliant grants. Our donors have the power to recommend a grant or investment at any time, and our designated advisors are there to ensure their giving is compliant and impactful.

Community Stories

Celebrate the ingenuity and tenacity of the bold visionaries working with Tides to foster change.

  • The Honig Initiative partnered with Tides to turn its grassroots social justice grants into a tool to effectively and sustainably support social justice work in the Bay Area. Understanding that it can be daunting for the organizations they aimed to support to launch a new position with short-term funding, the Initiative offered a two-year grassroots social justice grant to give nonprofits a longer runway for impact.

    Learn More

How to Start a Donor Advised Fund

Work with Tides to start amplifying impact. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Complete our questionnaire

Complete our Partner With Us form, then our team will contact you (if a partnership fit is determined) to discuss potential next steps. 

Step 2: Talk to us 

We’ll discuss goals with you to ensure our values are aligned, then recommend the best fund vehicle to support the causes you care about.

Step 3: Complete an application

If mission alignment is confirmed, we’ll send you an application to explore your fund goals further.

Step 4: Make an establishing gift

Once we have full approval, we’ll formalize our partnership and process your establishing gift.

Step 5: Start your giving journey

You’ll then meet your advisor and begin enhancing your social impact with Tides at your side.

Get Started on Your DAF with Tides

Interested in Partnering with Tides?

There’s no greater force than the collective power of people united for justice. Join us to fuel lasting change.

Get Started

Frequently Asked Questions


Tides provides grantmaking and other support to social change leaders to help build a world of shared prosperity and social justice.

A Tides Collective Action Fund (CAF) is a purpose-driven fund that relies on an independent advisory committee to  make recommendations to Tides for grants in support of a specific charitable purpose.

How does a CAF work?

  • The independent advisory committee (IAC) is composed of individuals committed to the fund purpose and with expertise or experience to support the achievement of that purpose.  
  • The committee reviews grant requests, then makes recommendations to Tides that align with the CAF’s charitable purpose and goals.
  • Tides reviews the recommendations for legal compliance and support of Tides’ mission and values and then makes a final decision on the grant request. 

CAFs can accept charitable contributions from a variety of sources, including individuals, donor advised funds, private foundations and corporations.

Do grants from the CAF support political candidates or campaigns?

No. Tides Foundation is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and CAFs are prohibited from funding partisan political activity. 

Can Tides overrule the recommendation of the Independent Advisory Committee?

CAFs benefit from the input of the independent advisory committee. The intent is to follow its recommendations. However, Tides may reject recommendations that are  inconsistent with the CAF’s purpose, don’t support Tides’ charitable mission, or are not in compliance with applicable law.

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Our organization is made up of five Tides entities: Tides Center,; Tides Foundation,; Tides Two Rivers Fund,; Tides Inc.,; and Tides Network. Our unique structure helps us connect changemakers in new ways, bringing together their diverse resources and experiences to realize a just and equitable future. 

Our Organizational Structure
Tides Network is our “home office.” It provides executive leadership, HR resources, financial management and accounting, legal and compliance, communications, and administrative services to advance the programming of the other Tides entities.

Tides Foundation
Tides Foundation leads Tides’ philanthropic work. The goal of the foundation is to advance social justice by partnering with funders to more quickly move their resources to social change leaders from communities historically denied power. Tides Foundation focuses on grantmaking and philanthropic services to doers and donors, including donor advised funds, collective action funds, and strategic advisory services. Tides Foundation also invests funds in social impact opportunities to support charitable activities in line with the Tides mission. Tides Foundation’s charitable funding comes from grants and donations received through a wide variety of sources, including individuals, families, foundations, and corporations.

Tides Center
Tides Center supports social change leaders, connects diverse people and organizations, and powers solutions that come directly from communities historically denied power, including women, economically disadvantaged communities, and communities of color. We offer comprehensive fiscal sponsorship—–including financial, compliance, insurance, governance, and human resources support—–as well as management, consulting, and grantmaking services. 

Tides Converge: Tides Inc. and Tides Two Rivers Fund
Tides Converge is a shared workspace that brings together a diverse community of leaders and organizations, linking sectors and crossing boundaries in the pursuit of social justice. Tides Inc. and Tides Two Rivers Fund hold and manage Tides Converge collaborative work and event spaces in San Francisco and New York City, respectively.

Tides Advocacy
Tides Advocacy is a separate 501(c)(4) organization.

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Tides does not provide funding or fundraising assistance to our fiscally sponsored projects.

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Tides offers a wide range of fund options to meet philanthropic objectives across the globe. Fees can range from 1% on standard donor advised funds to 5% for funds supporting a single domestic or  international project or organization. Tides staff can review your proposed fund activity and give a clear assessment of potential fees.

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Opening a fund at Tides generally takes 2-3 weeks upon receipt of a completed fund application. Please note that any complexities or clarifications uncovered during the application review process may prolong the timeline to open a fund.

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No. Funds at Tides must be opened with a minimum of $100,000 of committed funding for US-based activity or $50,000 for funds supporting a single domestic or international project or organization.

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