August 5, 2019
By Jack Doyle, Amergent President/CEO
Earlier this year, a lot of fund-raising professionals were asking their friends “Did you have bad year end results?” Many experienced lower than expected giving in November and December, especially among major givers.
I was told by donor advised fund insiders that the tax law changes created one clear shift in donor behavior. Rushing to donate to their favorite charities by December 31 was not a priority. Rather, getting their tax-deductible gifts of stock transferred into their DAF account in time for their 2018 tax deduction was priority #1. Once the converted amount deposited was receipted, they could relax. Many organizations waiting for those donors to renew in 2018 were disappointed.
The level of gifts deposited into DAF accounts before December 31, 2018 was unprecedented.
So it is nice to see those funds are finally getting the charities that will use them to faithfully fulfill the missions. Did you see the recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy that indicates that funds are coming out of the donors’ DAF accounts at record levels? If you haven’t seen this article, let us know and we’ll share more with you.
One obvious takeaway to me is that asking for and receiving DAF grants is going to a be a year-round activity forever. Asking for grants only at year-end is going to miss a lot of opportunities.
You can complain about this change in donor behavior, especially among large major donors, or you can take on the challenge and do the best job you can year-round with the right agency helping you every step of the way. I like to hear people “complain” they’ll find a way to get this added to their to-do list because it’s the right thing to do.
More money is being donated by individuals from DAF accounts now than all the income raised from individuals online. Don’t under invest in DAF fundraising any longer – find the budget to invest without taking it away from other income generating channels.