Snowcapped winter forest at sunset. View from above.

With Giving Numbers Down in 2022, Donor-Advised Fund Giving Still on the Rise

Sarah NavranIndividual & Family Giving

Despite a decline in overall charitable giving (according to Giving USA), inflation, and a challenging year for U.S. financial markets, the 2023 Donor-Advised Fund Report compiled by National Philanthropic Trust, shows donor-advised funds continued to be one of the most reliable funding sources for charitable organizations. Grants from donor-advised funds have grown every year since 2009 and more than doubled (119%) in the past five years. This is the first year total grants from donor-advised funds exceeded $50 billion—a new record high. Among the different providers of donor-advised funds, community foundations across the country saw their donor-advised fund grantmaking increase by 27% or $11.9 billion in 2022.

At the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, we’re also seeing an increase in grants from donor-advised funds, with more than $460 million granted in 2022, the most in our history. For every dollar that has come into one of our donor-advised funds since 2020, 59 cents has already gone out to work in communities—with the other 41 cents, plus investment gains, earmarked exclusively for additional investments in nonprofits. This ensures donors can continue to serve the needs of nonprofits as time goes on and can ultimately give beyond their initial contributions. Debbie Wilkerson, Community Foundation President and CEO recently told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that this is a familiar pattern. “We find that our donors are able to contribute to their donor-advised funds when markets are good, and their finances allow them to set some dollars aside for charitable giving. And then they give them out with abundance during those market downturn years.”

For those who choose to give via a Community Foundation donor-advised fund, we thank you for sharing your generosity with your grants to nonprofits. We are inspired each day by the donors who work with the Foundation to address needs in their communities, even when markets are down. These donors are individuals, families and companies making grants from their funds to the organizations and causes that are important to them. We are proud that these donors have granted more than $6 billion to nonprofit organizations in Kansas City and beyond throughout our history. Take a look at the impact our donors had in 2022 in our annual report.

For nonprofits in our community, as encouraging as the trends may be, you may be wondering, how can we secure more donor-advised fund gifts? The Community Foundation has several resources to help nonprofit representatives better understand these giving vehicles, which we’ve consolidated right here for easy reference:

Resource:  For Nonprofits: Donor-Advised Fund FAQs

Blog Post:  Beyond the Headlines: A Bright Future for Philanthropy

Webinar:  An Insider’s Look at Donor-Advised Funds and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation 

Blog Post:  Fueling Nonprofit Success: The Role of Donor-Advised Funds

Blog Post:  Endowments and the Intersection of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Investment Options for Nonprofits with Long-Term Goals

As a reminder, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation is just one of 900+ community foundations and national providers of donor-advised funds. Each provider has a website. In our case, nonprofits can visit the Nonprofit Organizations tab on our website to see these and additional resources, grant opportunities, long-term investment options and understand how our donors use GuideStar’s Nonprofit Search.

As the giving season is upon us, we wish both our donors and nonprofit friends a fruitful giving season as you support and carry out critically important missions that help make our world a better place.

Authored by: Nicole Stuke, Senior Philanthropic Advisor