Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), the ‘foundation-light’ option for philanthropists who want control over where there money is charitably invested but without the heavy infrastructure of a foundation, are growing apace in the UK according to a new report from Charities Aid Foundation and UK Community Foundations – two major providers of DAFs.
The Philanthropy Comes of Age report shows that £370m was deposited in DAFs in 2015/16 while £280m was made in grants from them in the same year. Overall, there has been a 51% increase in contributions over the period 2013/14 – 2015/16 with more than £1bn charitable assets now housed in the UK's nine funds. The report identifies a potential growth in contributions to £1bn in 10 years.
In the USA, these funds have grown massively to over $80 billion in assets and around 300,000 accounts.
According to CAF ‘an important benefit of this way of giving for many donors is the chance to pause, think and develop a vision for the causes they wish to support and the difference they want to make, allowing them to achieve their charitable objectives over time'.
Community Foundations’ donor advised funds are known as named funds and are usually held in the form of an endowment, so that the donor’s gift will have a sustainable, long-term impact. Donors with named funds receive advice from their Community Foundation, so they understand where the greatest need is and how best to address it.
The report includes examples of the impact of some of the DAF funds including helping young people into employment and an initiative to help charities build resilience.
Read the full report here
Big Society publishes new guide
Big Society has also produced a new guide this month on using a DAF for social investments that aims to empower professional advisers and philanthropists with clear information, step-by-step guidelines and case studies. It will help them make informed decisions when using DAF assets for social impact investment that enables greater impact.