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More advisers are turning to donor-advised funds

Funds increase in popularity among philanthropically inclined investors hoping to offset capital gains taxes

Dec 21, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By InvestmentNews Data and Darla Mercado

Donor-advised funds, which provide clients with an easy way to give to their favorite causes, experienced a sharp pickup in popularity during 2013. Advisers have turned to them as a way to help philanthropically inclined investors offset capital gains taxes, particularly in light of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and the five-year bull market.

Fidelity Investments topped the list in both grants and assets in 2013, but the Silicon Valley Community Foundation experienced the most dramatic growth between 2012 and 2013.

Donor-advised funds, which provide clients with an easy way to give to their favorite causes, experienced a sharp pickup in popularity during 2013. Advisers have turned to them as a way to help philanthropically inclined investors offset capital gains taxes, particularly in light of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and the five-year bull market.

Fidelity Investments topped the list in both grants and assets in 2013, but the Silicon Valley Community Foundation experienced the most dramatic growth between 2012 and 2013.

Donor-Advised Fund Overview*20132012% change
Charitable assets$ 53.74B$ 44.85B19.8%
Total contributions$ 17.28B$ 13.99B23.5%
Total grant dollars$ 9.66B$ 8.58B12.6%
Grant Payout**21.50%22.50%-4.4%
Total # of donor advised fund accounts217,367205,5525.7%
Average size of donor advised fund*** account$247,217 $218,054 13.4%
* Values reflect 1,018 fund sponsors, of which 1,012 had data for both 2012 and 2013.
** Grant Payout = Grant Dollars divided by Charitable Assets at end of prior year x 100 to get a percentage.
*** Donor Advised Fund. This average is the Total Assets Under Management divided by the Total Number of DAF Accounts.

Largest donor-advised fund charitable sponsors ranked by assets

Charity2013 Assets ($M)% change vs. 20122013 GRANTS ($M)
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund$10,218.1 35.2%$1,800.0
Schwab Fund for Charitable Giving$4,781.5 51.1%$595.2
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program$3,590.2 30.3%$501.2
Silicon Valley Community Foundation$3,418.9 99.6%$298.2
National Philanthropic Trust$1,648.3 43.4%$274.2
National Christian Foundation$1,425.1 16.4%$654.6
Jewish Communal Fund of New York$1,163.2 16.6%$272.2
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation$1,074.9 36.5%$84.3
New York Community Trust$1,021.9 12.1%$85.3
Renaissance Charitable Foundation$639.0 31.0%$69.1

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