March 18, 2020
By Jack Doyle, Amergent President & CEO
The COVID-19 impact on everyone is overwhelming. It impacts every choice we make. It impacts everyone who relies on you. And it impacts how people consider their own futures.
You’re going to need unrestricted funds now more than ever before. Many of your regular donors are going to hold onto their discretionary funds as uncertainty takes its grip on them.
If your organization is doing work directly related to immediate medical needs, helping vulnerable populations, and strengthening your capacity to faithfully fulfill your mission as more people need your services, you are in the sweet spot for where the majority of DAF funds are flowing and will continue to flow.
If you are not, you should consider answering how the COVID-19 crisis is negatively impacting your mission now and what impact it will have this year. You need a believable and compelling argument to share with your donors so all the DAF funds don’t go elsewhere.
The DAF Charitable Sponsors are 98 percent focused on suggesting funds get to those on the COVID-19 front lines. Some of them remember to add as an afterthought, “Donate to your favorite charities.” I wouldn’t assume that’s going to make much of an impact.
I looked over the 2020 YTD investment performance outcomes for Schwab Charitable and Fidelity Charitable (Wuhan reports began coming into the media in December 2019). Both published outcomes as of February 29, 2020, so the worst of the stock market declines had NOT yet happened. Balanced Moderate to Growth pool options were down five percent (four to six percent before the market tanked).
That means the average DAF account holder of $20,000 lost the ability to give someone $1,000. An account holder of $100,000 in a DAF lost the ability to give someone $5,000.
I don’t yet know how much more was lost so far in March.
The main difference between these funds and the investments in your retirement account is simple – these DAF funds have been irrevocably donated for charitable giving purposes. They can never be returned to the donors. DAF donors must give these funds to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that need them.
Every DAF donor wants to make an impact for good with their charitable giving. But their capacity for doing good is diminishing, as the stock market declines. Ask for their giving now so you can do what needs to be done while they can still make a big difference.
Make your case NOW and ask for their support!
Be well and pray COVID-19 takes a course without any of your loved ones in its wake.