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Donor-Advised Funds Enjoyed Strong Turnaround in 2010

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Donor-advised funds received $7.8 billion in 2010, 2.6% of total U.S. charitable giving for the year, helping fuel a turnaround for the segment, according to a new report from National Philanthropic Trust.

National sponsors of DAFs took in approximately $4 billion last year, the Donor-Advised Fund Report, released earlier this month, noted. This represented a 42% increase over the previous year’s contributions. Community foundations that sponsor DAFs received some $2 billion, while single-issue charities that sponsor DAFs received $1.8 billion.

The report found that DAFs turned around handsomely in 2010 after experiencing declines in 2009. Contributions and assets increased, as did grant making.

Key findings:

  • Total assets in DAFs grew to almost $30 billion in 2010, after falling to $26.7 billion the year before.
  • Contributions in 2010 increased by 25.3% over the previous year.
  • Grant making grew to $6.18 billion in 2010 from $6.10 billion in 2009.
  • The number of DAF accounts dropped 0.1% from the previous year, totaling 161,873 in 2010.

NPT said it had increased the number of charitable sponsors of DAFs studied in the new report by 44% over the 2010 report. Community foundations and single-issue charities accounted for most of the additional sponsors.