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Donor Advised Funds Reach Record Highs


20 November 2014 at 9:37 am
Xavier Smerdon
Contributions to Donor-Advised Funds in the US have passed $17 billion in 2013 - a record breaking high according to the latest report from the National Philanthropic Trust.

Xavier Smerdon | 20 November 2014 at 9:37 am


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Donor Advised Funds Reach Record Highs
20 November 2014 at 9:37 am

Contributions to Donor-Advised Funds in the US have passed $17 billion in 2013 – a record breaking high according to the latest report from the National Philanthropic Trust.

The 2014 Donor-Advised Fund Report used 2013 data collected from 1,012 charitable organisations.

“This report demonstrates the rapid growth of donor-advised funds over the last several years,” President and CEO of NPT Eileen Heisman said.

“The total estimated charitable contributions in the United States in 2013 were $335.17 billion. Of those contributions, donor-advised fund accounts received $17.28 billion, or 5.2 percent of the total charitable giving for the year.

“This is an increase over the 4.3 percent noted in last year’s report and the 3.2 percent from the 2012 Donor-Advised Fund Report.

“In turn, grants to charitable organisations from donor-advised fund accounts totaled $9.66 billion. This is the third consecutive year that grants from donor-advised fund accounts total more than $8 billion.

“Last year’s total, now revised to include new donor-advised fund sponsors and reflect data from IRS Forms 990, is $8.58 billion, and the total for 2011 is $8.14 billion.”

A donor-advised fund, including community foundations, allows donors to establish and fund the account by making irrevocable, tax-deductible contributions to the charitable sponsor. Donors then recommend grants from those funds to other charitable organizations.

Highlights from this year’s report include:

  • Grants from donor-advised fund accounts to qualified charities are nearly $10 billion, reaching a record high of $9.66 billion.

  • Contributions to donor-advised fund accounts total more than 5 percent of all giving in the U.S.

  • Charitable assets in donor-advised fund accounts total over $50 billion for the first time—an increase of nearly 20 percent over the prior year.

  • There are now more than 217,000 donor-advised fund accounts. The growth rate of new accounts represents a 34 percent increase over the last seven years.

  • Contributions to donor-advised funds at Community Foundations grew 9.9 percent.

The report found that donor-advised funds have granted out more than 20 percent of their assets annually for the last seven years. The growth rates for contributions to and grants from donor-advised funds have been in the double digits for several years.

“Donors are actively using their donor-advised funds to support their favorite charities and causes, regardless of economic conditions” Heisman said.

“Every dollar in donor-advised fund accounts is destined for charitable organizations.

“These record highs are good news for charities, their beneficiaries and other donors who support them.”


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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