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Why Are DAFs So Fashionable? The Attraction of Donor-Suggested Funds


Do you’re feeling such as you’ve been listening to about donor-advised funds (DAFs) loads these days? There’s purpose for it. In accordance with the Nationwide Philanthropic Belief’s 2023 DAF Report, donors gave $52.16 billion in DAF grants to nonprofits final yr—a 9% improve from the earlier yr. The entire quantity of donor contributions to DAFs additionally grew by 9%, which means that the rising reputation of donor-advised funds shouldn’t be slowing down.

Nevertheless, should you haven’t but explored donor-advised funds to your nonprofit, you might be questioning what all of the fuss is about. Why are DAFs so in style with rich donors, and what does this imply for organizations like yours?

On this article, we’ll discover each of those questions by breaking down the attraction of donor-advised funds for each nonprofits and donors. Plus, we’ll talk about how your nonprofit can get began with donor-advised funds should you resolve to take the leap. Let’s dive in!

DAFs assist donors create a long-lasting charitable legacy.

The first goal of opening a donor-advised fund is to create an avenue for steady, life-long giving. As soon as a donor opens a DAF with a public charity, neighborhood basis, or monetary group, they’ve a devoted place to put aside funds at any time to provide to nonprofits later. Simply by opening a DAF, donors show a dedication to supporting charitable causes long-term.

Plus, similar to an endowment, the funding a donor provides to their DAF will get invested by their supplier—which means DAFs have the potential to develop past the donor’s preliminary contributions.

As soon as the fund has grown, donors can then request that their DAF supplier give grants to the nonprofits of their alternative at any time. Which means they will create a legacy by giving to a number of organizations all through their lifetimes, slightly than devoting the whole fund to only one. For nonprofits, this additionally offers you the chance to discover new DAF-holding donors who’re on the lookout for further organizations to assist.

They arrive with tax incentives.

Past the advantages of long-term charitable giving, donors additionally like DAFs due to the tax incentives they supply. For one, donors can declare tax deductions any time they add cash to the account. Even when they don’t grant these funds to a nonprofit but, they nonetheless obtain a charitable tax deduction that yr.

To grasp why that is so interesting to donors, check out the next instance of what it would seem like in follow:

  1. A donor named Mark contributes $7,000 to his DAF in 2023.
  2. Mark doesn’t make any grant requests that yr, permitting his preliminary $7,000 to develop as an alternative.
  3. When he information taxes for 2023, Mark lists his $7,000 DAF contribution and claims his charitable tax deduction for that yr.
  4. In 2025, Mark donates the unique $7,000 plus any funding revenue to the nonprofit of his alternative, in the end giving a bigger donation than he would have given in 2023.

Quick tax deductions aren’t the one profit—DAFs even have a better tax deduction restrict (60% of a donor’s gross revenue) than different avenues like personal foundations. These tax advantages present main incentives to open a donor-advised fund, particularly for wealthier people.

It’s simpler to open a DAF than begin a personal basis.

The opposite choice for long-term charitable giving for a lot of donors contemplating opening DAFs is to begin a personal basis. Foundations might be began by a person or household for the aim of giving grants to organizations working towards a particular trigger. Nevertheless, since a basis is its personal authorized entity, opening and operating one comes with many extra obligations than a DAF.

To begin a basis, a person should register it as a belief or nonprofit company, type a board of administrators, and handle the distribution of grants to nonprofits. Foundations additionally should abide by quite a lot of authorized necessities and laws.

Opening and sustaining a DAF, then again, solely requires donors to:

  • Select a DAF supplier to open the account with and handle the fund.
  • Fill out an utility and comply with the DAF supplier’s insurance policies.
  • Contribute to the fund.
  • Request that grants be given to particular organizations.

That’s it! With a DAF, donors don’t have to fret about investing their funds, submitting complicated authorized paperwork, or distributing the grants themselves. For the reason that donor solely “advises” the fund, they keep away from all the time-consuming obligations of the fund’s administration.

Nonprofits can simply settle for DAF grant donations.

Lastly, DAFs don’t should be a problem for nonprofits to navigate. With the appropriate instruments and advertising and marketing methods, any group can simply benefit from this fundraising alternative to earn giant donations and interact high-income donors within the course of.

All you need to do is let donors know you settle for DAF presents and make it straightforward for them to request a DAF grant from their supplier. You are able to do this in a lot of methods, together with:

Alt textual content: An infographic explaining methods to settle for DAF donations, defined within the textual content beneath.

  • Making a web page in your web site about DAFs. Design an internet web page that explains what DAFs are, why they’re helpful, and the steps donors ought to take to request a DAF grant to your nonprofit. Then, hyperlink to this web page in your “methods to provide” web page and in another advertising and marketing supplies you create.
  • Including a DAF widget to your donation web page. You’ll be able to embed a widget proper into your donation web page that offers donors all the knowledge they should request a DAF grant. All they should do is enter the identify of their supplier, they usually’ll be instantly directed to the steps they should take. To interact as many DAF holders as attainable, search for a widget that works with all DAF suppliers and doesn’t cost a transaction price for donors.
  • Designing informational advertising and marketing supplies. Along with the DAF web page in your web site, you’ll be able to create social media content material, weblog posts, and even junk mail appeals that market the choice to provide through DAF grant and clarify how the method works.
  • Selling DAFs throughout communication channels. Leverage your whole typical advertising and marketing channels to get the phrase out that you just settle for DAF grants. Then, conduct particular person electronic mail outreach to donors you suppose could also be all for donating from or opening a DAF.

Accepting any further giving choice might help you interact donors by letting them give within the ways in which take advantage of sense for them. By taking these steps to simply accept DAF grants, you’ll present DAF-holding donors that your nonprofit is happy about their dedication to charitable giving and that you just wish to make the donation course of straightforward for them.


Now that the explanations donors and organizations are all for DAFs, you can begin tapping into donor-advised funds to your nonprofit. Lean into these advantages when speaking to donors, and you can begin incomes donations from DAF grants very quickly.

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