Ballentine Partners’ Senior Client Advisor, Drew McMorrow, was recently quoted in the New York Times article “Weighing the Best Vehicles For Philanthropic Giving”. The article discusses private foundations attracting I.R.S. scrutiny, and how some wealthy philanthropists are considering the benefits of donor-advised funds, which are also less costly to manage.

Practically speaking, a donors suggestions are usually not ignored. But one important thing you cannot do with a fund is make pledge agreements to, say, your alma mater, said Drew McMorrow, senior client advisor at Ballentine Partners, a wealth manager.

“You can’t do that in a binding way from a donor-advised fund because you’re not technically controlling that fund,” he said.

Beyond a criminal using your personal information for nefarious reasons, charities can take this information and put you in an awkward position. “I had a client who enrolled his child in a preschool and within a month of enrolling their child, the development director had approached them to make a grant of $100,000,” Mr. McMorrow said.

The client was taken aback, Mr. McMorrow said, because the size of the gift was consistent with what he had given to schools his other children had attended. The client had not realized how easy it was to get the information online.