Donor-Advised Funds: A Critical Component of our Philanthropic Ecosystem

breiby@growyourgiving.orgIndividual & Family Giving, Professional Advisors

The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s goal is to provide our donors with a great giving experience. Part of that experience includes the ability to give strategically via donor-advised funds, which could span decades or multiple generations.

From time to time, there are rumblings of legislation impacting donor-advised funds. We always have our ear to the ground in D.C. Right now, we are working alongside many other community foundations and our lobbyists on Capitol Hill to educate U.S. Senators and Representatives on how donors are actively using their donor-advised funds now, while also planning for their future grants.

In 2020, donors responded to unprecedented needs by making nearly 50% more grants than the previous year. For every dollar that was contributed to a donor-advised fund, 91% went right back out to work in our donors’ communities. The remaining 9% is invested, so donors can save for future needs. In the rare case of a donor not using their donor-advised fund, we document their long-term philanthropic goals, or we ask them to distribute their charitable dollars to nonprofit organizations that are doing critically important work. We do not want to see money sitting in funds indefinitely.

The Community Foundation’s mission is to increase charitable giving, and favorable tax laws are fundamentally important to that mission. Charitable giving improves the quality of life in our communities and lessens the burdens of our government, and when it’s easy to give, people give more.

If you have questions or concerns about any proposed legislation that may affect philanthropic giving, please let us know.

Authored by: Debbie Wilkerson, President & CEO