Donor-Advised Funds: What are they? Where are they?

Each year, the National Philanthropic Trust compiles data from IRS Forms 990 from every organization they can find that holds donor-advised funds. This year's report came out November 14 and includes some new features. One of those is a map showing how many accounts (or funds) are in each state.

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The report finds that in 2016, distributions (grants) from donor-advised funds to other charitable beneficiaries exceeded $15 billion. This amount is NOT included in total estimates of giving issued by Giving USA. For DAFs, the initial gift to the DAF is counted but not the grants made later.

Among all donor-advised funds, donors grant about one-fifth (20.3% for 2016) of the value of all assets. This payout rate compares very favorably with the required 5% payout from private foundations.