However you measure their growth, donor-advised funds as charitable giving vehicles are on a roll.
In 2014, the number of individual DAF accounts, total grant dollars from these accounts, total contributions to them and total assets increased for the fifth consecutive year, according to National Philanthropic Trust’s 2015 annual report.
NPT’s research showed DAF growth between 2013 and 2014 in these metrics:
- DAF assets: $70.7 billion, up 23.9%
- Total contributions: $19.7 billion, up 14.1%
- Total grant dollars: $12.5 billion, up 27%
- Grant payout (grants relative to assets): unchanged at 21.9%
- Total number of DAF accounts: 238,293, up 8.8%
- Average DAF account size: $296,701, up 13.7%
The report projected continued growth in all metrics, particularly in grant making as charitable assets continue to rise.
For the new study, NPT examined a total of 1,016 Section 501(c)(3)-registered charities that sponsor and/or manage DAF accounts.
The report attributed the growth in assets to increases in the number of funds and contributions. It also suggested that investable charitable assets realized gains at all DAF charities, as the stock market’s value increased by 25% in 2013 and 7.5% in 2014.
(The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that several DAFs now number among the biggest charities in the U.S.)