Lots of good news on DAF giving

From Jack Doyle, Amergent President 

The gold-standard of DAF reports is available here. Thank you to the National Philanthropic Trust for sharing.

This is the most comprehensive information we get about national DAF sponsors, community foundations and single-issue charity sponsors. The one disappointing aspect of the report is that for all giving activity (inbound contributions and outbound grants) through 2019. It takes a lot of time and resources to stay this close behind a trend on a rocket trajectory.

Highlights that caught my attention:

First off, how much money are we trying to get out of these accounts?

They report that at the beginning of 2019, the available funds had increased to $142 billion, an annual increase of 16 percent. If the funds increased again during 2020 by 15 percent, that would mean we’re starting 2021 with over $160 billion available to charities. When we first started talking about the DAF opportunities, the total available was half that!


Second, how many DAF donors are we looking to make our next best friends? This chart indicates 870,000+ accounts were accounted for at the end of 2019, so have we tipped over one million by now? Probably.

Third, has this continued to be a popular way for charitable donors to give? Well, it is still a high percentage of overall individual giving. So, you need to consider, “What percentage of your individual giving is DAF money?” Setting your goals to make it 10 percent of your annual giving is an achievable goal, and the question is how long will it take for you to get there with help.

Fourth, how much money is going INTO these accounts? And how much is coming OUT? The answer to this is a “problem” for all fundraisers to deal with! Despite best efforts to inspire donors to grant more money (and they ARE), the available funds continue to grow. This is job security for all of you working to raise more money from DAF donors!

Funds in versus funds out: $10 billion more went in than went out from the national sponsors (i.e., NPT, Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity, etc.). Some of you feel like me and are grateful that $17 billion went to charities in FY2019. (I’m sure that number went up even more in 2020, but that will be in next year’s report.)

Lastly, we always want to remind you whom to target and why, whom you really want to uncover—the donors with giving accounts at a national sponsor or community foundation control these $127 billion of the total funds that can only be used for charitable giving.

And this $127 billion total is an old number and is surely larger today in 2021!

Call us and we will help you get more of it!

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