Stewardship Navigator
A Donor-advised Fund for Africa

With the Stewardship Navigator, Tree of Life is providing donors with an innovative way to invest and distribute charitable capital in Africa.

Investments pave the way to predictable funding. It is for this reason that individuals planning retirement will save and invest over a number of years in preparation for a time when they will fund their living expenses by making withdrawals from a retirement fund. One can withdraw between 2.5% and 5% from such a fund per year – after retirement – without running an unacceptable risk of jeopardising the longevity of the fund.

Similarly, we believe that charities can best be supported by creating a significant investment fund and distributing between 2.5% and 5% of the value of such a fund to charities. We have been making investments in this way for more than nine years with excellent results, and are now offering this product to high net worth clients who want to use their charitable contributions in the same way.

An additional benefit is that the investment portfolio can include impact investments, that supports good business by investing in companies that make a difference in society.

The Stewardship Navigator is an ideal solution if you have earmarked funds for giving and want to move this off your balance sheet into a charitable structure, but do not want to incur costs in setting up legal structures.

The Stewardship Navigator is a more cost-effective solution than forming your own charity, as the platform has significant benefits of scale, because most overhead costs are only incurred once for the entire platform and are spread across many donors.

At the same time, donors retain flexibility regarding:

  • the charities and causes that should ultimately benefit from the donation;
  • the timing of distributions to these charities; and
  • how donations should be invested until distributed to charities.

How does it work?

How does it work?
  • You open a Stewardship Navigator Donor-advised Fund and transfer money to it. USA taxpayers should qualify for a tax deduction in the US, and in certain cases South African taxpayers may also.
  • You select the investment portfolio in which you would like the funds to be invested. The portfolios offer different options in terms of risk and liquidity to match your needs.
  • We provide you with a quarterly statement so that you can keep track of your Donor-advised Fund and investment performance.
  • You decide when, how much, and to what charities your Donor-advised Fund should make grants.

Key information


The Stewardship Navigator caters for both foreign and South African donations. Via a link with the National Christian Foundation (NCF), donors in the USA can make a donation to the NCF, qualify for a tax deduction, and direct that the money should be transferred to their Stewardship Navigator Donor-advised Fund on the Tree of Life platform.

Tree of Life's Stewardship Navigator Donor-advised Fund is unique in the investment options it provides, including private equity impact investment opportunities. Tree of Life has an impressive 9-year track record of investing donor capital in selective private equity opportunities and generating returns that provide funding to ministries and charities.

Investment options

Donors are able to select one or more of the following pooled portfolios, in which their donations will be invested until distribution:

  • Short-term cash portfolio

    This portfolio allows withdrawal at the end of each calendar month.
  • Medium-term portfolio

    This portfolio consists of listed instruments, collective investments and hedge funds, and allows withdrawals at quarter end on 60 days’ notice.
  • Long-term private equity portfolio

    This portfolio offers the best opportunities for multiplication and for the investment itself to have a beneficial impact. It will aim for a 2.5% p.a. "dividend" distribution that can be paid into the Donor-advised Fund’s liquid portfolio, or reinvested. Liquidity can also be made available if there is a liquidity event in the portfolio (e.g. sale of an underlying asset) or based on new inflows. This portfolio does not offer guaranteed liquidity.

    Donors will be provided with a quarterly statement in order to keep track of their Donor-advised Fund account and investment performance.

Charities / Fees

Distributions to charities

The ultimate beneficiary of a Donor-advised Fund must be a registered charity that is approved by the platform.


There will be no initial fee on donations received, except actual NCF charges and bank charges on transfers from the USA.

To fund the cost of providing the service, the platform will levy an asset-based recurring platform charge of 0.45% p.a. (levied quarterly) as well as an investment management charge that varies according to portfolio.

The investment management charges will be:

  • 0.25% p.a. on the short-term liquid portfolio.
  • 0.75% p.a. on the medium-term semi-liquid portfolio.
  • 2% p.a. on the long-term private equity portfolio.
  • No performance fees will be levied.

To help cover overheads from non-sticky money and to discourage multiple small transactions, a distribution fee of 1% with a minimum of R500 will be levied when money is actually distributed to charities. This fee may be capped in future and will be refined based on actual experience.

It is important to note that as all fees will be internal in Tree of Life, fees do not leave the charitable space and can be viewed as a charitable contribution to Tree of Life. Any surplus will be used as directed by the Tree of Life trustees.

How to open a Fund

How to open a
Donor-advised Fund
  • Step 1

Fill in the Stewardship Navigator Contribution Form

Note that there are different versions of the contribution form for donors in the USA and South Africa.

Send the signed application form to

If you are a South African donor, go to Step 3.
If you are a US donor, continue to Step 2.

  • Step 2

US Donors: Pay your donation into our Giving Fund at the NCF

There are several ways to do this. In all cases you will need to know that the name of our Giving Fund is “The Tree of Life (South Africa) Fund” and our fund number is #1462307.

  • Transfer from your own Giving Fund

    If you have a Giving Fund at the National Christian Foundation, this is the easiest option.

    1. Log on to your Giving Fund at
    2. Select “Transfer” on the top menu bar.
    3. In “Section 1 Select a Fund”, choose “Other” in the Drop-down box.
    4. Enter the following details:
      Fund name:
      The Tree of Life (South Africa) Fund
      Fund ID:
    5. Enter the amount of your donation in Section 2.
    6. Enter the name in which you are opening your TOL Donor-advised Fund in Section 3.
    7. Send an e-mail to when you have done the transfer.
  • Send a physical cheque

    1. Make the cheque payable to “National Christian Foundation”.
    2. Write our Fund ID: 1462307 on the cheque.
    3. Fill in a Cash Contribution Gifting Form.
    4. Mail the cheque, together with the Cash Contribution Gifting Form to:
      Attn: Contribution Services
      National Christian Foundation
      11625 Rainwater Drive, Suite 500
      Alpharetta, GA 30009
    5. Send an e-mail to when you have done the transfer.

  • Wire transfer

    1. Fill in the attached Wire Transfer Form and e-mail it to or fax to 888 672 7302.
    2. Contact your bank to initiate the wire transfer using the following information:
      • Comments: Please include the donor’s name and the Tree of Life Giving Fund number (#1462307) in the comments section of the transfer.
      • Receiving Bank: Bank of North Georgia, a division of Synovus Bank (Alpharetta, GA)
      • Receiving Bank ABA: 061100606
      • Beneficiary Name: National Christian Foundation (Alpharetta, GA)
      • Beneficiary Account Number: 010-004-423-9
    3. Send an e-mail to when you have done the transfer.
  • Step 3

South African Donors: Pay your donation into the correct bank account as indicated on the application form

Note that there are different accounts for section 18A donations and other donations. Use the name of the donor as payment reference.

Send proof of payment to


Back to Top