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.