Economy, Fiscal Cliff Contribute To "Banner Year" For Donor-Advised Funds

National Philanthropic Trust Donor Contributions Hit Record Levels

Feb 21, 2013, 11:57 ET from National Philanthropic Trust

JENKINTOWN, Pa., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a review of giving in 2012, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), one of the top 25 grant-making institutions in the US, reports record Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) contributions.

"Donor-Advised Funds have been an important giving vehicle for almost a century, however we may look back at 2012 as the 'Year of the DAF,'" said Eileen Heisman, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust.  "While reliable national figures for contributions are not available yet, National Philanthropic Trust can report that, in our experience, donors looked to DAFs as the 'giving vehicle of-choice' more than ever."

Multiple factors impacted the growth and popularity of DAFs in 2012, including the fourth-quarter fiscal cliff news, positive US economic growth, as well as attractive DAF features like flexibility, ease, online accessibility and low dollar minimums to establish it.  National Philanthropic Trust by the numbers in 2012:

  • Contributions exceeded $550 million
  • New accounts increased approximately 30 percent to 2,534
  • Donors looked to NPT's Charitable Asset Trust for illiquid asset contributions more than ever before
  • NPT now manages nearly $1.6 billion in DAF assets

"December was by far our busiest month because of the fiscal cliff debate, with a more than 250 percent increase over the same time last year," said Heisman.  "These contributions ultimately will mean additional grants to charities around the country – from education to the arts and human services.  Americans have always been benevolent people. Our donors, more than ever, are demonstrating that they want to support causes that are important to them." 

About National Philanthropic Trust
NPT was founded in 1996. Since that time, it has raised over $3.3 billion in charitable contributions and currently manages over $1.7 billion in charitable assets.  NPT has made nearly 73,000 grants totaling almost $1.7 billion to charities all over the world and ranks among the 25 largest grant-making institutions in the United States.  NPT publishes the DAF Report, which is a unique, annual compilation and analysis of charitable organizations that sponsor donor-advised funds.  Visit and

SOURCE National Philanthropic Trust