Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, Michigan. © Richard Thompson

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Peter and Kathy Metcalf manage their charitable giving with a donor-advised fund.

Peter and Kathy Metcalf
Peter and Kathy Metcalf Peter and Kathy Metcalf © Courtesy of Peter and Kathy Metcalf

Peter and Kathy Metcalf

A donor-advised fund with The Nature Conservancy is a professionally managed account that allows you to build your family’s charitable legacy while giving you the flexibility to recommend how and when to make distributions from the fund. Using their closely held stock to set up their donor advised fund, the Metcalfs found a simple way to realize their life-long desire to give back.


Both of us knew that one day we would want to increase our charitable giving to support causes we have long believed in. Kathy and I have always supported charities we care about, but our salaries were modest, and we had three children to get through college! When we finally did decide it was time to sell the business we co-founded, we considered setting up a private family foundation to direct our future giving. But after reading in Nature Conservancy magazine about the advantages and ease of setting up a donor-advised fund (DAF), we got in touch with Conservancy staff and created the Peter and Kathleen Metcalf Donor-Advised Fund with some of our company stock (before we sold the company).

The beauty of the DAF compared to creating a private foundation was and is that we saved many of the costs and time on both the front end and in managing our fund year in and year out. What’s more, the DAF allowed us to donate the stock, avoid the capital gain and get a charitable income tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock on the date of our gift.


As a boy growing up in New York and Long Island, I was always attracted to the “special wild places.” My first adventures began in empty lots and hikes exploring the animals and plants in the open spaces between roads and houses. My passion for nature only grew, and later, we built Black Diamond Equipment, a company specializing in outdoor gear. I was proud that it was also a company with a conscience that championed stewardship, preservation and access to nature.

As long-time supporters of The Nature Conservancy, Kathy and I share this passion for the natural world. We think their inclusive and non-confrontational approach make the Conservancy one of the most effective and results-producing conservation organizations around. We realized that a DAF would satisfy our desire to support the Conservancy as well as other causes.

The joy we have received from our first round of giving since creating the DAF has been perhaps our greatest pleasure since we sold the company. The simplicity of giving through the DAF makes it so easy to focus on the one thing that matters most: ‘Who do we give to and how much?’ After nearly 30 years of hard work and risk-taking, it is such a pleasure to bask in this reward of helping those who make such a great difference in our lives.

If you are looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to support the causes you care about, you can establish a donor advised fund with The Nature Conservancy. In one easy process, a donor-advised fund helps you manage all of your charitable giving while providing you with significant tax savings.

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