Wow! There’s a lot of money here! 

By Jack Doyle, Amergent President

Are you ready for year-end giving? Are you making it easy for your donors to give in all the ways they like to contribute?

Recent discoveries confirm that donors with donor-advised fund giving accounts use those accounts for about 65% of their annual giving, more than half of the dollars they contribute.

We tested this and looked at five clients and their recent annual giving outcomes from donors with a giving account. That overall 65% average looks pretty good. But the real learning here is that these DAF donors love to give in many ways and you should be inviting them to give more money and reminding them of all the ways they have given to you.

Here’s what we found:

We also looked into the three largest sources of funds for all of our clients and wanted to share that as well. The top three sources of funds are Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable and Vanguard Charitable.

Finally, where do these donors LIKE to make grants? There are 13 organizations that appear multiple times on the “most popular” lists published by these charitable sponsors. Doctors without Borders/MSF and Planned Parenthood are listed as most popular to all three.

Four of the most successful university development programs (in both dollars raised and annual alumni participation) receive many of the grants from Vanguard which is the reason their average grant is so large and why the average account balance of a Vanguard donor is $500,000+. Those four universities are Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Penn.

It’s safe to say that if you identify your Vanguard Charitable donors, there could be significant giving capacity. You might also have alumni from these and other prestigious universities who do have donor-advised fund giving accounts who have NOT yet used them for any charitable giving except to their university.

Make sure all your donors in all your communications channels know you accept donor-advised fund grants.

Future i-Fund newsletters will indicate the best practices in play for the top ten listed here and other best practices from organizations planning to make their way up into the top favorites of all these charitable sponsors.

Thinking about and then doing what’s needed to make it easy for your donors to give is the reward you will receive this year end and every year.


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