Donor Advised Funds Continue Growth

November 18, 2015

Hear that? It’s the buzz around donor advised funds and why they are becoming an increasingly popular philanthropic vehicle for thousands of Americans.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal said, “Donor-advised funds have surged in popularity over the years, and many tax lawyers, accountants and financial planners enthusiastically recommend them as a tax-efficient, highly convenient and remarkably simple charitable-giving vehicle.”

Last week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy said, “Donor-advised funds held $70.7 billion in assets last year, an increase of nearly 24 percent.”

And last Tuesday, The NonProfit Times said, “Donor-advised fund accounts […] accounted for 7.6 percent of all individual giving and 5.5 percent of all gifts to charities in 2014 [and] the number of donor-advised fund accounts increased by 8.8 percent […] to 238,293.”

So what does it all mean? Donor advised funds have many benefits, that’s for sure. But what we’ve learned in 35 years of serving families’ philanthropy, is that it’s the support fundholders receive and the ways in which they leverage their funds that matter most.

A charitable family can open a donor advised fund in a lot of different places. But only community foundations provide the customized, creative, donor-centered approach that turns good giving into real impact. Community foundations are unique in that they, too, have a stake in the communities their fundholders care about. And in most cases, they have been at it for decades – long before the national institutions.

At the Community Foundation of New Jersey, we are proud to host more than 1,100 different funds, but we’re even more proud of the innovative ways these fundholders have leveraged their philanthropic dollars for maximum impact.

Starting college savings accounts for public school Kindergarteners, providing hot lunches for hundreds of homeless and working poor, creating summer jobs for at-risk youth, sponsoring gun buybacks that net thousands of unwanted firearms, and even securing a spot for student science projects on the next space mission.

To create your own donor advised fund or to leverage an existing fund for real results, call us at 973-267-5533