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Do You Really Understand Donor-Advised Funds and the Donors Behind Them?

Jeffery ByrneJeffrey D. Byrne
President + CEO

One of the biggest trends JB+A is seeing in fundraising is the impact of donor-advised funds.  Nonprofits should be paying close attention to donor-advised funds and their impact on philanthropy.

Did you know…?

1.  Extremely significant amounts of money are being given to charities through donor-advised funds:

  • the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation granted more than $263 million to charities in 2014 through charitable giving accounts, also known as donor-advised funds
  • 58% of those grant recipients were right here in Kansas and Missouri (that’s nearly $153 million!)
  • Fidelity Charitable granted more than $2.6 billion to charities in 2014

2.  Donor-advised funds can be funded with a variety of assets such as cash equivalents, publicly-traded securities and other property such as  shares and interests in privately held companies, real estate and oil and gas interests:

  • In 2014, more than half of the contributions to Fidelity Charitable’s giving accounts were non-cash assets
  • In 2014, 43% of GKCCF’s contributions to giving accounts were no-cash assets
  • Donating long-term, appreciated assets potentially allows more donors to maximize capital gains tax advantages, reduce taxes and ultimately give more to charity

3.  Investment growth in donor-advised funds drives an increase in funds available for charitable grants:

  • Since 1991, investment options at Fidelity Charitable have generated an additional $3.6 billion available for grant making
  • Also with Fidelity Charitable, over the last 10 years, dollars granted to charities have tripled

4.  Funds are not simply “parked”; they are granted out sooner than we might think

  • most contributions to Fidelity Charitable are granted out to charities within 10 years



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