Donor advised funds (DAF) can be sources of abundant wealth, but they are not low-hanging fruit that anyone can grab.
At the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Fundraising Conference, Jack Doyle, president of Amergent, offered and answered some of the frequently asked questions about DAFs.
* Isn’t this just a trend? Doyle said that money in DAFs dropped from 2007 to 2008 and from 2008 to 2009 but then rose for each of the next four years.
* Is the money diverted from worthy causes? The number of charities supported by the DAF Fidelity Charitable has doubled in the past 10 years.
* Where do I find who is a DAF donor? Doyle advised looking among an organization’s own donors. While checks are from the charitable sponsor organization, the donor’s name is provided to soft-credit 90 percent of the time.
* How do we contact them? The most effective outreach appears to be digital, and that includes Baby Boomers.
* Aren’t they just avoiding taxes? Paying less income tax is a powerful incentive for some, but not most, of these donors. They are turning non-cash assets into usable philanthropic funds.
* Who are DAF donors? Some 80 percent are married and 90 percent report no presence of children. As for education: some college, 22 percent; college degree, 46 percent; graduate school degree, 26 percent.