Are you interested in all things donor-advised funds?

By Jack Doyle, Amergent President & CEO

We’re going to share monthly, DAF-related initiatives that we find interesting and suitable for all.

One month, we will be showing what other non-profits are doing, while the next month, we could be indicating what Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable are doing with their donor communications, their giving portals, and their mobile applications.

With this information, you’ll be able to decide which “content” is suitable for sharing with your donors, as the more informed they are about what they can do with their giving account, and you, the better off for all.

Please share with all interested associates. If they wish to receive the future editions directly, please have them send their email to

What is new and interesting?

Fidelity Charitable has initiated a call for its donors to make a personal mission statement.

Every Fidelity Charitable donor can review content supporting this idea. According to Fidelity Charitable, “having a mission is energizing. Putting your mission into words can strengthen your connection to it,” says Elaine Martyn, vice president and managing director of the Private Donor Group at Fidelity Charitable. “It’s much more fun to give when you know you are actually doing something purposeful with your giving.” Having a purpose is motivating and inspires you to take concrete steps to achieve your vision. For example, if your top priority is to help the homeless, perhaps you’ll contact the local homeless shelter to learn more about what they need most, or seek to become more informed about what is the most effective way to help homeless people.


They even give their donors an overall giving worksheet for completing the job.

You’ll need this document to complete the assignment for creating your own mission statement.

The donor is asked:

  1. What inspires you to give?
    1. What are some formative experiences in your life? How did they shape you?
    2. Who are the people who have been strong influences on you? What have they taught you?
    3. When you think about our world and society, what inspires or upsets you?
    4. What are some of your core values or principles?
    5. What motivates you to give?
  2. Where will you focus?
    1. What issues do you want to affect? Why? How?
    2. What population do you want to focus on?
    3. What is your geographic scope?
    4. What is your vision or long-term goal for your giving?
  3. Write your mission statement.
    1. Drawing upon the values, interests, and motivations you described above, write a one-to-three sentence mission statement for your giving.

Sample mission statements:

  • To honor my mother’s work as a Pre-K teacher, I will give to early childhood education programs in my state so all children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn.
  • I will help veterans successfully transition out of the military by funding programs that provide job support services.

And yes, Schwab has similar content suggesting the donor consider creating a mission statement. You can decide who does a better job at this time.

What Would Amergent Do (WWAD)

  • Create donor-friendly communications that inform your Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable donors that having a personal mission statement is personally rewarding in many ways. You want to make them feel good in everything you do.
  • You want them to put what makes them who they are into their own words.
  • Your communications are goodwill investments, short and long-term.
  • In order for them to find this content, you’ll need to give them clear instructions.
  • We would create a couple of versions of a personal mission statement for the DONOR and encourage them to use what you’ve given them; if you don’t go for the top position in their charitable heart/mind, someone else will.
  • We would make sure the personal mission statements reinforce the impact they will have on your work and how they make it possible for your mission to be successful; they need positive reinforcement that their giving matters every time they give.
  • Invite them to call you so you can work on their personal mission statement together.
  • Invite them to SHARE with you what they come up with.
  • You know those non-profits that have private, white-label DAF giving programs of their own for their major donors? They are always helping these DAF donors when it’s time to grant—and where and how much to grant.
  • One note of caution: the DAF donor needs to go into their giving account from the log-in page of the website to find this content; they cannot use the DAF Direct widget.

Please let me know when you put this content for consideration into action!

P.S. These sponsors have other worksheets that will be content for consideration in the future; you might want to look here to see what you should consider in your outbound communications to your best donors so they can answer all of these questions in the best possible light for your organization.

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