2012 Donor-Advised Fund Report: Accounts Receive $9.64 Billion In Total Contributions


Nov 08, 2012, 14:00 ET from National Philanthropic Trust

JENKINTOWN, Pa., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2012 Donor-Advised Fund Report, most consistent source for statistics on donor-advised funds (DAFs), found that key metrics for DAFs have met or exceeded pre-recession figures of 2007.  The report from National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) found DAF accounts experienced "significant growth," including a 17.5 percent growth in assets under management, now totaling $37 billion.  Contributions to DAFs totaled $9.64 billion—representing more than 3 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S.

"Donor-advised funds have reached record highs because they are easy to start and use. They enable donors to focus on their philanthropic goals rather than paperwork, board minutes, audits and tax filings," said Eileen Heisman, President and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust.  "Additionally, there is an increasing awareness of this giving vehicle's functionality and flexibility."

National Philanthropic Trust's DAF Report has been published annually since 2006 and primarily uses data from IRS Form 990 filings to provide an up-to-date analysis of the DAF market. The 2012 DAF Report examined 652 charitable organizations that sponsor donor-advised funds, including national charities, community foundations and other sponsoring charities. 

"This year's report shows a promising future for the growth of donor-advised funds with their increasing popularity and impact on domestic and international philanthropy," said Heisman. "Going forward, we predict an increase in illiquid asset contributions such as real estate and stocks, a popular way to provide mission-critical funding of charities.  Charities and donors with donor-advised funds must continue to build important relationships to keep the nonprofit sector vibrant."

Key findings from the 2012 Donor-Advised Fund Report include:

  • In 2011, DAFs experienced significant growth in total assets under management to nearly $37.43 billion.  This 17.5 percent increase from 2010 exceeds pre-recession (2007) highs of $30.59 billion and is likely linked to an increase in the number of new DAF accounts.
  • Contributions to DAFs grew to $9.64 billion. This is a 10.6 percent increase compared to the $8.71 billion in contributions in 2010. Contributions to DAFs in 2011 accounted for more than 3 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S. [Calculated using Giving USA's estimated total of $298 billion in charitable giving.]
  • DAF grantmaking reached a new threshold in 2011, reaching $7.7 billion. This is a 13.6 percent increase from $6.78 billion in 2010.
  • The number of DAF accounts increased by 4.2 percent from 170,276 in 2010 to 177,357 in 2011. This marks the first time it has grown more than 2 percent since 2008. For the past several years, DAFs have outnumbered private foundations and the combined total of other gift planning vehicles, including trusts, annuities and funds.
  • The average DAF account value reached an all-time high of $211,067, marking a 12.8 percent increase from the $187,050 average in 2010.

Complete 2012 DAF Report available at http://nptrust.org/daf-report/ as well as upon request.

About National Philanthropic Trust
Founded in 1996, NPT has raised over $2.8 billion in charitable contributions and currently manages over $1 billion in charitable assets.  NPT has made over 65,000 grants totaling $1.6 billion to charities all over the world and ranks among the 25 largest grant-making institutions in the United States.  NPTrust.org has more. 

SOURCE National Philanthropic Trust