Three DAFs Exceeded $5 Billion In Grants Last Year

Grants distributed by the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) exceeded $626 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The latest estimate brings to $3.6 billion the total distribution by the donor-advised fund sponsor in its first 20 years.

Based in Jenkintown, Pa., the largest national, independent donor-advised fund sponsor issued 26,168 donor-recommended grants to 10,897 charities in the last fiscal year, according to unaudited figures released this week.

The $626 million in distributions was down 3 percent from $646 million distributed in 2015. NPT attributed the higher 2015 figures in part to an unusually high number of grants exceeding $20 million. The total number of grants was up slightly, from 26,051 the previous year.

The distribution to each subsector for 2016 mirrored the previous year, though the data are unaudited. The lion’s share of grant dollars went to charities categorized as public, societal benefit; education, and international.

“Over the past fiscal year, our donors recommended grants that furthered pediatric cancer research, supported employment opportunities for our nation’s veterans, built a no-kill animal shelter and improved access to clean water in developing countries,” said Eileen Heisman, president and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, which marked its 20th anniversary on July 10.

In the last 20 years, the trust has raised more than $6.2 billion in liquid and illiquid asset charitable contributions and has made more than 148,000 grants exceeding $3.6 billion to charities.

National Philanthropic Trust is the third DAF to release figures of its grant distributions for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Aggregate distributions total more than $5.1 billion so far:

NPT’s most recent Donor-Advised Fund Report, covering 2014, estimated some $12.5 billion in grants made through donor-advised funds. The 2016 report is expected out later this year.