Friday, November 6, 2015

Stewardship of Donor Advised Fund Gifts

The surge in donors giving through donor advised funds is real and palpable in our industry. In fact, the largest funds have made large leaps in the amounts they hold in their coffers and the industry is taking bold notice. Here are some of the articles of late on the subject. There are plenty of experts that tell us how to seek donor advised fund (DAF) gifts, but I haven't seen much in the way to help us steward the gifts. Here you go folks. A few points of note first from our friends at the IRS. 1. a donor cannot pay a pledge with a DAF. 2. A donor cannot receive tangible benefits from a donor advised fund gift it cannot pay for tickets to your event or other items like auctions etc. 3. You cannot send a receipt to the donor for the DAF gift. 

Now that the legalese is out of the way, we have to realize together what a DAF donor looks like in order to come up with a donor relations plan. First things first, how many of these do you have at your organization? Once you have identified your donor pool, understand who these folks are? Most are pretty sophisticated donors, especially those who go through community foundations. The donors that give through corporate DAFs tend to be less educated on the restrictions of the DAF at times from their financial advisers. Nevertheless it is our job and our pleasure to ensure that these donors are well taken care of. Here are some points to note.

These donors are really digital donors, they usually send a request form online in order to have the fund give on their behalf. Then the DAF sends a check. So sending them digital collateral is a good idea. DAF donors also have other philanthropic advisers at the DAF it would be a good idea to find out who is helping them make their giving decisions and build a relationship with them. When your gift officers need help prioritizing visits, a DAF donor is a great place to start, know that when one gift comes from a fund, there is a pool of other funding behind them that is available for future giving. In other words, these make great prospects. Many DAFs have minimum investment levels that can be quite significant. Work with your research team to find out what those minimums are and help note that on your donor's record in your database. Also understand that the DAF will grow in size with time and accrued interest.

Identifying these donors and having a plan for their gifts and your stewardship is essential to your success. a DAF is a giving vehicle, just like a credit card or check, but it is one that leads us to realize many indications from the mere presence of a DAF in a donor's life. It is important that we take notice of these donors in our pool and recognize and adjust accordingly. There are samples of thank you letters to donors who have made gifts through DAFs on my website for your use. What are some of the things you have done for DAF donors? How do they affect the future donor relations plans at your organizations? Let me know below.


No comments:

Post a Comment