How flexible is your charitable giving?

Jun 28, 2024

When considering approaches to charitable giving, many often focus on the amount or the cause. However, the “how” of your giving is just as important, and with a donor-advised fund (DAF), you can give flexibly to increase your impact and philanthropic potential. 


Learn more about why DAFs are the ideal flexible giving account! 


Why is flexibility important for charitable giving? 


For some donors, flexibility may sound more like a nice-to-have than an important part of charitable giving. But flexibility is crucial for supporting nonprofits and can mean making a greater impact. 


For example, while there are many longstanding issues in the world that charities are consistently looking to address, there are also more disasters happening than before. If you want to support your favorite causes while also being nimble enough to be a responsive giver, it’s best to take a less rigid approach to giving. 


Additionally, you may come to learn about new charitable needs which may affect your giving that a rigid plan won't account for. Because of this, you may not know in January all the organizations you’re going to want to support throughout the year. However, by having funds readily available to support a variety of causes, evidence suggests you may actually give more than if you would otherwise. 


Flexible giving accounts 


"I contribute to my DAF when I have funds available. Then, I can immediately respond when I see something in the news without having to look at what I have in my checking account." – Kevin F., a donor of 3 years from Florida 


A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a flexible giving account that allows donors to contribute assets, invest the funds, and grant them out to public charities. 


In the latest report from Vanguard Charitable, Why Giving Matters: Responsive granting with donor-advised funds spur greater total giving, findings show that when donors use their DAF to support both their longstanding, favorite charities as expected giving and emergent needs as unexpected giving, their unexpected giving doesn’t take away from their expected granting. Not only that—this flexible approach to giving actually increases their expected giving by 24%. This demonstrates that flexible giving is more than possible with a DAF, it strengthens donors’ giving.


What makes a DAF so flexible? Here are some important considerations: 

  • Give when you have the assets. When you give to a DAF, you don’t need to know what specific organizations you’ll give to right away. You can contribute to your account when the assets are available, and those funds are then ready to be granted out at a time of your choosing, either as recurring grants to your favorite charity or when a new cause catches your eye. 
  • Grow your giving potential. If you rely on liquid assets in the moment, your giving potential is limited to what you have on hand. However, your DAF account’s charitable funds are invested and could potentially grow, meaning you could grant more to charity than you contributed to your account. 
  • Grant on your timeline. Flexibility truly is the name of the game with DAFs. Unlike with private foundations’ requirements, distribution requirements vary by DAF sponsor. This means that with a DAF you can generally grant when it makes the most sense to you, maximizing the potential of your flexible giving account. H2: 


Make your charitable giving more flexible with a donor-advised fund 


With a DAF, you’ll have a flexible giving account to support all your longstanding and new favorite causes. Don’t wait any longer to become both a more reliable and responsive giver. Open a flexible giving account today! 

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