4 ways to tap into DAF dollars

Here are a few things you should know about Donor-Advised Funds:

  • They are skyrocketing in number and in the amount of money in them. There was $234 billion in DAFs at the end of 2021 — up 40% over 2020.
  • They’re giving out more. DAFs granted $46 billion in 2021, 28% more than in 2020.
  • A lot more of that money went to those who actively sought it: Organizations that specifically solicited DAFs received 2.2 times more DAF dollars in 2022 than those that didn’t.

So what should you be doing?

Here are some great tips from FreeWill, at The nonprofit’s guide to donor-advised funds:

  1. Actively promote donor-advised funds on your donation page. Add a link that says something like, “Give from my Donor-Advised Fund.” The link should then take them to a page that guides them through the DAF grant process.
  2. Ask major donors and prospects if they have DAFs. Just ask. It’s increasingly likely that major donors do have one.
  3. Make sure your Guidestar profile is up-to-date. Many DAF sponsoring organizations rely on Guidestar to make sure nonprofits are in good standing and to make sure grants to to the right place.
  4. Get to know the leaders of your local community foundations. While most DAFs are run by large financial firms, a significant number are connected to community foundations (20% of total grant dollars in 2021). Community foundations are much more active than financial firms in recommending organizations for grants.

You can also download FreeWill’s 2023 FreeWill DAF Report.


Comments

8 responses to “4 ways to tap into DAF dollars”

  1. You might also consider using the DAFwidget MarketSmart supplies to the sector for FREE. They don’t charge your donors 2.9% like other DAF tools do.
    You can get the line of code to add to your website here:
    http://www.dafwidget.com

  2. You might also consider using the DAFwidget MarketSmart supplies to the sector for FREE. They don’t charge your donors 2.9% like other DAF tools do.
    You can get the line of code to add to your website here:
    http://www.dafwidget.com

  3. Also, here’s MarketSmart’s comprehensive guide to raising money from donors with DAFs: https://imarketsmart.com/donor-advised-funds/

  4. Also, here’s MarketSmart’s comprehensive guide to raising money from donors with DAFs: https://imarketsmart.com/donor-advised-funds/

  5. AND if you move forward in soliciting grants from DAFS, PLEASE ensure your organization’s systems can treat the grants form DAFs differently than contributions. Monies received from DAFS are not contributions, but grants and come with different requirements than a tax-deductible contribution. THe IRS rules are specific.

  6. AND if you move forward in soliciting grants from DAFS, PLEASE ensure your organization’s systems can treat the grants form DAFs differently than contributions. Monies received from DAFS are not contributions, but grants and come with different requirements than a tax-deductible contribution. THe IRS rules are specific.

  7. Very good point. As a DAF donor myself, I frequently get receipts for my grants. More than half the time. If I tried to use those receipts to deduct those donations, I’d be committing tax fraud. Not a good look for nonprofits to be helping commit crimes!

  8. Very good point. As a DAF donor myself, I frequently get receipts for my grants. More than half the time. If I tried to use those receipts to deduct those donations, I’d be committing tax fraud. Not a good look for nonprofits to be helping commit crimes!

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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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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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