If you are involved in the world of philanthropy, you are well aware of the splash donor-advised funds (DAFs) have made for charitable giving programs. DAFs have been the fastest growing charitable gift vehicle since they were commercialized by asset managers in the early 1990’s. From 2016 to 2017, the number of DAF accounts grew more than 60% to a total of 463,622 nationally. That alone is enough to grab the attention of any nonprofit administrator; and it has. I am privileged to be employed by RenPSG, the largest philanthropic gift administrator in the country and, along with my colleagues, I speak with representatives from nonprofit organizations on a daily basis who want to know more about a branded DAF solution and whether it is right for their organization.
There’s little doubt that the more restrictions you put on a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) program, the less attractive it becomes to donors. If you limit where donors can invest, restrict where they can recommend grants and set initial contribution amounts too high, the potential for donors to want to participate is reduced. This could be the root cause for why many nonprofit organizations wanting to focus a donor’s charitable giving dollars on their specific missions shy away from a DAF option. But what if there was a way to set up the fund to direct a specific percentage of recommended grants to the sponsor charity, and still allow discretionary granting of charitable dollars to other qualified nonprofits of a donor’s choosing?
The Chronicle of Philanthropy released the results of a recent study they conducted in partnership with Harris Poll and the Association of Fundraising Professionals that said 51% of fundraisers in the United States plan to change jobs by 2021. That’s a concerning statistic for many nonprofit organizations. Fundraising professionals cite not enough staff, not enough resources, lack of organizational structure, low income potential, and unrealistic goals as reasons for the shift in career path.
This past June, Giving USA released their annual overview of philanthropy in the United States with detailed numbers, graphs, and descriptions for the year’s charitable giving. The report, first published in 1956 and produced by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis since 2000, is the industry-wide measuring stick for annual giving. Before we break down the numbers, we should celebrate the fact that 2018 was ranked second highest historically in charitable giving in the United States. Americans donated nearly $428 billion to charitable ventures over the course of the year and through various forms of giving.
The non-profit world continues to be integrated into the fabric of an American culture and business environment but faces a bit of unknown future. Too much duplication of services and blending between for-profit and non-profit exist. The philanthropy sector is consistently overlooked but employs over 12.3 Million people (as of 2016). New ways of philanthropy, non-profit management, and administration or technology exist to make giving flexible, fast, and easier online!
Non-profits employ roughly 10% of all workers in America and have contributed to job growth over the last decade. During this time, nonprofits outpaced for-profit job growth by almost 4 to 1.
What does this mean for the sector and philanthropy specifically? As the sector continues to grow and mature, below are some trends to keep an eye on and consider.
When people think of family legacies, names like Carnegie, Ford and Rockefeller spring to mind. These families were pioneers in business and innovation at the turn of the century in the United States and, as such, forged their names in history. But these families were also responsible for shaping the landscape of modern-day philanthropy.
An often-cited philanthropic goal among charitable-minded individuals is to develop a lasting impact that will live on after they are gone. Whether that means instilling in your children and grandchildren a tradition of giving, or developing a means of perpetual giving to continue your charitable habits after your time on Earth has passed, having the ability to make a financial difference and creating a legacy of giving can easily be accomplished by starting a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF).