MarketSmart’s “How-to” Guide for Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs)

Click here for the free comprehensive guide for donor-advised funds.

Trends come and go, but donor-advised funds are forever. I’m not quite sure that’s the quote, but I think it goes something like that.

In our sector, week in and week out it seems there is a new “hot topic” to be focused on. Artificial intelligence, donor-centricity, peer-to-peer giving, the list goes on and on. One “buzzword” that stands above the rest and deserves our attention; donor-advised funds (DAFs).

The growth in charitable giving to (and from) DAFs is remarkable (and indisputable). Thanks to the team at National Philanthropic Trust, we know that DAFs are growing at a meteoric pace. In 2018 alone, $37.12 billion was contributed to donor-advised funds. During the same year, $23.42 billion was granted out from a DAF to a nonprofit. These numbers are not insignificant.

Taken directly from National Philanthropic Trust:

Total estimated charitable contributions in the United States in 2018 were $427.71 billion, according to Giving USA. Individual giving accounted for $292.09 billion, or 68 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S., in 2018. Contributions to donor-advised funds have increased as share of total giving over the past decade. For 2018, donors contributed an estimated $37.12 billion, or the equivalent of 12.7 percent of individual giving. This is a continued increase compared with 2017, when contributions to donor-advised funds were the equivalent of 10.5 percent of individual giving.
DAFs expressed as a percent of total giving

The importance of donor-advised funds cannot be understated. Not only do they represent a large pool of individual donor dollars, they also speak to the changing landscape of philanthropy as we know it.

That’s why our team here at MarketSmart took the time to write up a comprehensive guide to understanding donor-advised funds for you to refer to at your organization.

We’re also hosting a webinar with Keith Curtis, President of The Curtis Group, and Jeff Gianotto, Senior Solutions Advisor here at MarketSmart on January 22nd at 2pm EST to discuss DAFs and the implication they have at your nonprofit.


And last but not least, our DAFWidget is still 100% free, and being used by hundreds of nonprofits around the world!

Donor-advised funds are here to stay. The least we can do is be prepared for them. It’s our hope that these free resources assist you in that process.

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