Must Know for Fundraisers: Donor Advised Funds

Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy had an interesting article on the popularity and continued growth of Donor Advised Funds. 

A Donor Advised Fund is fund set up by a public charitable organization that makes grants to other charitable organizations on behalf of the donor, who makes grant recommendations to the fund.

The article - Fidelity and Schwab Report Surge in Grants from Donor Advised Funds - highlights the growing popularity of DAFs, noting that grants from funds are up more than 30% from the previous year. Fidelity reports that the average size of grants was $4,700. 

Here are a few other stats from 2013 and 2014:

  • There were 217,367 donor-advised fund accounts 
  •  Donor-advised funds held $53.74 billion in assets 
  •  Annual contributions into donor-advised funds were $17.28 billion 
  •  Donors recommended grants from donor-advised funds totaling $9.66 billion  
  •  Average donor-advised fund account size was $241,217

As more and more of our major donors use Donor Advised Funds, it's our responsibility as nonprofits and gift officers to have a confident understanding of this important tool. 

Take 5 minutes to brush up on Donor Advised Funds.

Review how DAFs are different from Family Foundations

Here's an easy to understand chart that compares Donor Advised Funds to Family Foundations.  

And this case study, Denise and the DAF, is a true story of a gift officer  providing value to the donor relationship with her knowledge of DAFs.