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Latest on Donor Advised Funds



Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) have been around 100 years or more, and this option has become more popular in the general nonprofit community.

 

The National Philanthropic Trust began paying attention in 2007 and has recently issued annual The Donor-Advised Fund Report for 2023. This report is a wealth of information for professionals in the nonprofit sector and is provided by the National Philanthropic Trust as a public service. One section I especially appreciate is the glossary of terms.

 

The key points to this report are:

  • Charitable assets for all DAFs decreased slightly from $231 billion in 2021 to $229 billion in 2022.

  • The decline in assets was partly due to losses in the stock market, which is sensitive to national and global events such as the continued impact of Covid, a divisive political environment in the U.S., the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, global supply chain issues, and extreme climate events.

  • DAF activity increased in 2022.

  • Grant awards from DAFs to charitable organizations totaled slightly more than $52 billion. This was a nine percent increase from 2021.

  • Contributions to DAFs also increased by nine percent from 2021 for a total of $85.5 billion.

  • Disposable personal income, adjusted for inflation, declined 5.9 percent.

  • Primary information source for this report is the IRS Form 990 for the nonprofit entities that sponsor and/or manage donor-advised funds.

 

Even if you only have cursory knowledge of donor-advised funds this report is easy to understand because of the numerous charts, tables, graphs, and glossary of terms. There is also an explanation of the methodology used and links to nine previous reports.

 

Another important note from this report is that community foundations are not the only organization that manages DAFs. National charities and single-issue charities also manage and/or sponsor DAFs.

  • Community foundations focus their resources on a specific community or region. There are approximately 95,000 individual DAF accounts managed by community foundations across the country.

  • Single-issue charities focus on a specific topic area such as higher education, faith-based, or a specific sector such as international affairs or the environment. They managed about 77,000 DAF accounts in the U.S.

  • National charities have over a million accounts and have a national focus. The National Philanthropic Trust is an example for this category.

 

Two colleagues of mine, Colton C. Strawser, PhD, and Melissa S. Brown, provided data analysis and contributed to the narrative of this report. I am proud to share the outcome of their important work. Click HERE for the report.

 

 

Michelle Crim, CFRE

 

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

 

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