According to a new study conducted by the National Philanthropic Trust, the dollar amount of grants awarded by donor-advised funds to nonprofit organizations in 2009 exceeded total contributions into DAFs, Advisor One reports.
Based on data from 331 organizations, the 2010 Donor-Advised Fund Report (12 pages, PDF) found that DAFs awarded more than $6 billion in grants — the second-highest total in the six-year history of the study — while taking in $5.9 billion. "This shows us that people still remained very committed to supporting their charitable causes," Andrew Hastings, NPT's vice president for external affairs and the chief researcher/writer of the study, told the financial magazine, "and they were doing it through their DAFs."
The study also found that, for the second consecutive year, DAF asset values, contributions, and grants fell in 2009, while the number of funds increased by 3 percent, outpacing the creation of new private foundations by more than two to one — a development Hastings attributed to the ease with which DAFs can be created. "Setting up a DAF," he said, "is like opening a bank account, whereas setting up a private foundation is like opening a bank."