Donor-Advised Funds Have Strategic Plans, Vanguard Charitable Reports

Three out of five donors to Vanguard Charitable donor-advised funds follow a long-term plan in their philanthropic giving, a report from finds.

Based on an analysis of 2004-13 data as well as a survey of Vanguard donors and the charities they have supported, the report, (16 pages, PDF), found that 61 percent of Vanguard Charitable donors have a strategic plan that includes a budget, investment strategy, and time horizon to meet their current and long-term giving objectives; 56 percent do a majority of their charitable giving through a DAF; and 73 percent are involved with the charities they support.

The study also found that among Vanguard DAF accounts, 31 percent were held by donors who were born before 1946, 44 percent were held by those born between 1946 and 1964, and 13 percent were held by those born after 1965. Among the 142,437 charities supported by Vanguard Charitable funds between 2004 and 2013, human services organizations received the greatest share both in terms of the number of grants (31 percent) and grant dollars (35 percent), followed by education (21 percent of grants and 25 percent of grant dollars), religion (20 percent and 12 percent), health (9 percent and 6 percent), arts and culture (7 percent and 4 percent), and civic engagement (3 percent and 8 percent).

"Donor-advised funds regularly support thousands of nonprofit organizations that service our country's critical needs, and the results of this study are a great reflection of that philanthropy," said Vanguard Charitable president Ben Pierce. "We continue to see an uptick in awareness around donor-advised funds and the benefits they provide to individuals looking to give back to their communities in a strategic and thoughtful way."

"." Vanguard Charitable Press Release 06/12/2014.