When Donors Speak, DAFs Listen

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When Donors Speak, DAFs Listen

Read about Donor Advised Funds in this Crain’s article by Jeremy Nobile

Whether it’s for the tax benefits, low hurdles for participation, overall flexibility or a number of other factors, donor-advised funds (DAFs) are seeing capital flowing in and out of them reach record levels.

And even though new tax codes in 2018 have cast some uncertainty over how DAFs and their contributors might alter their giving through those vehicles, the sense is the popularity of DAFs will continue to grow.

“I think we’re entering a new phase now where donors are becoming more aware of this as a simple tool they’re not just using on a standalone basis, but in conjunction with other (philanthropic) strategies,” said Phil Tobin, who established a DAF via iGiftFund in Hudson earlier this year. “When put with a DAF, it supercharges those other strategies.”

DAFs, which are established through public charities, allow donors to make a charitable contribution — while enjoying an immediate tax benefit — and then recommend grants from the fund over time. The National Philanthropic Trust(NPT) describes them as charity savings accounts. The fund works with the financial adviser of a donor (or several of them) who can put in as much money or other assets as they want into the fund and allocate grants to various charities in unique and customized ways from that — hence, “donor advised.”

Contributions into DAFs also hit an all-time high in 2016 of $23.37 billion, a year-over-year increase of 7.6%. And the total number of DAFs came just shy of 285,000 in 2016, another annual increase of about 7%.

Click here to read the whole article When Donors Speak, DAFs Listen