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.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Tony, I was glad to read your comments about DAFs. I wholeheartedly
    agree that DAFs grants can be treated similarly to checkbook gifts. The
    charities that manage DAFs however provide some extra key services that
    make them more advantageous than checkbook giving.

    Fundraisers need know to that philanthropists with DAFs are the same as
    any other prospective donor. With that in mind, they will see the daf
    as the convenient tool that it

  2. Eileen – thanks for the comment. National Philanthropic Trust provides great value-add services for donors and you’re a smart fit for people who are searching for help beyond the technical DAF management. (I’ve recommended you to folks before.)

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