How to make the most of donor advised funds

More donors are using donor advised funds (DAFs), and it’s about time more of us paid attention to that.

According to the National Philanthropic Trust 2020 DAF Report, grantmaking (that is, donations) from DAFs have increased 93% since 2015, and the number of DAF accounts up 220% in the same period. More than $23 billion in donations flowed through DAFs last year.

Your donors who have DAFs are mostly mid-level and up. They are conscious philanthropists. And they may not even think of you as part of their DAF giving — and that’s something you can help change.

This post at the CCS Fundraising Blog — Donor-Advised Fund Growth and How Nonprofits Can Benefit — has some ideas for encouraging your DAF donors to remember you:

  1. Make giving through DAFs a part of your donor dialogue. Talk about DAFs in your newsletter, inserts in your receipts, on your website, and elsewhere.
  2. Make it easy to give to your organization through a DAF. Market DAFs on your website by including a link to “give from my DAF.”
  3. Show the impact that DAF grants will have today.
    Tell stories of DAF donors who are making a difference through this tool.

There are some DAF widgets (here and here) you can put on your website to shorten the journey for DAF donors.

Keep your eyes open about this topic — it’s only getting more important to more of your donors!


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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