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Positioning your organization to receive DAFs (Donor Advised Funds)

Today we're delving into a significant trend that's reshaping charitable giving, Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). Well, they've become quite the talk of the town in philanthropic circles, boasting an impressive $234.06 billion in charitable assets in 2021 alone. But, like any powerful force, DAFs come with their own set of challenges. Unfortunately, while there was an increase in assets, 2022 saw a drop in charitable contributions by an astounding 22.5%. So how do we make it easier for DAFs to choose your organization? Here are some of the ways our clients have been successful at accessing these funds.


Positioning your organization to receive DAFs (Donor Advised Funds)

Understanding Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) have emerged as pivotal vehicles in the realm of philanthropy, serving as charitable giving accounts managed by third-party organizations. These funds offer donors a multitude of benefits, which, while controversial in nature themselves, provide unparalleled flexibility in their charitable contributions and tax advantages. Additionally, DAFs provide donors with the opportunity to potentially grow their contributions through strategic investments. However, for nonprofits looking to dip their toes into the DAF pool, navigating the landscape can pose significant challenges. By understanding the intricacies of DAFs, and strategizing ways to overcome obstacles, nonprofits can supercharge their fundraising efforts and propel their impactful work to new heights within the community.


Facilitating access to DAF Funding

How can nonprofits enhance their access to Donor Advised Funds (DAFs)?

First and foremost, it's essential to streamline the communication of your mission, impact, and dedicated team to donors and fund managers. This entails proactive engagement and strategic initiatives from nonprofits, such as:


Providing Information and Inspiring Giving:


Nonprofits should offer comprehensive information details about their missions, programs, and impact. Donors love knowing how their contributions are going to turn the world a shade brighter. Paint them a picture of the change they're making!


Guiding Donors Towards Impactful and Equitable Giving:


  • Nonprofits serve as guides, helping donors understand how their contributions can make a meaningful difference.

  • Educating donors about impactful giving practices enhances their understanding of the value of DAFs.

  • Educating donors of the need to mobilize DAFS and influence other philanthropists to do the same. After all, why leave $228.89 BIL sitting around when it could solve some of the world's most pressing problems?


Positioning for Access to DAF Funds:


It's all about making sure your nonprofit stands out in the crowd:


  • Ensure your listings remain current and vibrant on platforms like Candid, Charity Navigator, and GuideStar. While it might seem tedious, many DAF holders and their advisors rely on these sites for initial assessments. Don't let your nonprofit miss out on valuable opportunities!

  • Partnering with community foundations that boast strong DAF programs can be highly advantageous for nonprofits. These foundations provide access to potential donors who utilize DAFs, offer guidance on fundraising strategies, and enhance visibility within the local community.

  • Lastly, ensure that essential details about your nonprofit, like your mailing address, EIN, and contact information for your development staff, is readily available on your website. You never know when a potential donor might be looking for these details!



Creative Strategies to Connect with DAFs

In order to effectively engage donors with significant Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), nonprofits can employ innovative approaches such as:


  • Utilize Candid Profiles: Show off your nonprofit's amazing work on Candid profiles. It's a great way to catch the eye of potential DAF backers by spotlighting your achievements and impact.

  • Engage Current Donors: Get your existing supporters to chat up your nonprofit with their financial advisors. They can recommend DAF support to supercharge their philanthropy.

  • Seek out DAF Gurus: Reach out to donors and chat with them about their DAF involvement. By figuring out who's behind those DAF contributions, you can build stronger bonds and nurture lasting relationships.

  • Organize Donor Briefings & Provide Impact Reports: Engaging donors through regular briefings and detailed impact reports is essential for maintaining transparency and fostering a sense of involvement in your nonprofit's mission. These sessions offer a valuable opportunity to provide updates on the progress of ongoing projects, share success stories, and outline future plans. By showcasing the tangible outcomes of their contributions, donors can see the direct impact of their support, fostering a deeper connection to your organization's cause.

  • Utilize Social Media: Tap into the social media scene to expand your nonprofit's reach. Share updates, stories, and sneak peeks to keep your followers hooked. Engaging visuals like photos and videos bring your mission to life. Get your fans involved by liking, commenting, sharing, and voting. Launch exciting campaigns with catchy hashtags to spark conversations and rally support for your causes.


Leveraging Resources and Tools

To optimize access to Donor Advised Fund (DAF) funding, nonprofits can leverage specialized resources and tools:


  • Using Candid's Foundation Directory: Utilize platforms like Candid's Foundation Directory to conduct targeted searches for potential DAFs and their charitable giving activities within specific geographic areas. This tool provides valuable insights into potential funding sources and their philanthropic interests.

  • Key Learnings from Foundation Directory Search: Extract valuable insights from the Foundation Directory search process. Identify the presence of DAFs within the targeted region, pinpoint potential DAF holders, and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of transparency in attracting DAF funding. By analyzing this data, nonprofits can refine their strategies and tailor their approaches to effectively engage with DAF donors and maximize fundraising efforts.


In reflecting on the multifaceted nature of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), it's essential to acknowledge their dual nature. DAFs provide significant benefits such as tax advantages, flexibility in giving, and potential investment growth. However, they also pose challenges for nonprofits, including delayed funding and transparency issues. Despite these hurdles, nonprofits must adapt to the evolving landscape of philanthropy and seize the opportunities DAFs offer. By fostering clear communication of impact, results, and implementing effective marketing strategies, nonprofits can harness the power of DAFs to maximize fundraising potential and effectively support their missions. Do the #DAFMATH: 1.5MIL nonprofits with $228 BIL out there could mean an additional $152,000 for every organization. What would you do with an extra $152,000 this year?


Want to dive deeper into the topic? Join our webinar hosted by CEO, Alyssa Wright, on June 26th, titled "How to ACTUALLY connect with (DAF) Donor-Advised-Fund holders" It's an invaluable opportunity to gain insights and strategies for effectively engaging with DAFs. Don't miss out—reserve your spot now!







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