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National Philanthropic Trust report reveals total charitable assets in DAFs grew nearly 20% to a record $53.74 billion

The 2014 Donor-Advised Fund Report, the most complete source for U.S. donor-advised funds (DAFs) statistics, found that grants from DAFs to qualified charities reached a record high of $9.66 billion in 2013, a 12.6 percent increase over 2012. Total DAF charitable assets grew nearly 20 percent to $53.74 billion according to the report, published annually by National Philanthropic Trust (NPT).

“Every dollar in a donor-advised fund is destined for charitable organizations,” said Eileen Heisman, president and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust and author of the DAF Report.  “Philanthropists donate to their DAFs to support what means most to them over time.  This kind of thoughtful philanthropy, plus the fact that DAF contributions and grants have seen double-digit growth for several years now, bodes well for charities here and around the world.”

National Philanthropic Trust’s eighth annual Donor-Advised Fund Report found record highs for the third consecutive year in each data point with significant year-over-year growth. 2014 Donor-Advised Fund Report key findings:

  • Grants from DAFs totaled $9.66 billion (12.6 percent increase)
  • Contributions to DAFs totaled a record $17.28 billion (23.5 percent increase)
  • Charitable assets in DAFs totaled a record $53.74 billion (19.8 percent increase), representing a trajectory of growth above 15 percent annually since 2012
  • 217,367 total DAF accounts in US; one out of every three DAFs were created in the last seven years, making DAFs the fastest-growing giving vehicle in the US (34 percent growth rate over seven years)
  • The average size of DAF account reached a record $247,217 (13.4 percent increase)

“More than ever, philanthropists are leveraging the power and flexibility of donor-advised funds, reaffirming their position as the most popular charitable giving vehicle in the US,” said Heisman.

DAFs have outnumbered private foundations and the combined total of other gift planning vehicles for several years.  NPT also reported a rise in illiquid asset donations and expects this trend will continue.

National Philanthropic Trust’s Donor-Advised Fund Report has been published annually since 2006. It primarily uses data from IRS Form 990 filings to provide the most up-to-date and reliable analysis of the DAF market. The 2014 report examined 1,012 charitable organizations (the highest number ever analyzed for the report) that sponsor donor-advised funds, including national charities, community foundations and other sponsoring charities.

Complete 2014 DAF Report available at NPTrust.org/daf-report and upon request.

Richard Virgilio

About National Philanthropic Trust

Founded in 1996, NPT has raised $4 billion in charitable contributions and currently manages over $2.1 billion in charitable assets. It has made more than 100,000 grants totaling $2 billion to charities all over the world and ranks as the largest independent DAF administrator.  NPT annually publishes the Donor-Advised Fund Report, the industry’s authority on the state of DAF giving.  Visit NPTrust.org.

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