The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Rick Cohen has an insightful article today on donor-advised funds managed by financial services firms and other national providers. The article provides counterpoint to worries about those national DAFs raised by nonprofits and others. In his concluding paragraph, he writes:
In contrast, DAFs are, dare we say it, an instrument toward democratizing philanthropy, putting more philanthropic decisions into the hands of ordinary Americans who may not be charter members of the one percent club.
I agree wholeheartedly and am glad that the national providers made the DAF tool far more accessible than community foundations could have done on their own.
And, my advice to nonprofits remains the same regardless of these funds are managed: Don’t treat DAFs as foundations, but as big checkbooks for the donors you should be getting to know anyways.