What is Why Giving Matters?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) allows for the contribution of assets to a philanthropic account. These are assets that must go to charity. Assets can then grow tax-free to create more charitable dollars while being granted to nonprofits. Vanguard Charitable wanted to better understand how using a DAF influences the giver and the grant recipients.


This DAF report reviewed both internal data and survey data. Surveys were collected from donor-advised fund donors and charities that have received grants from Vanguard Charitable accounts.

The data provided insight into how DAFs can help donors support nonprofit organizations more effectively. Here are some of the questions Why Giving Matters answers for readers:

Vanguard Charitable donors give more annual grants over time

How can donor-advised fund donors generate even more long-term benefits for public charities from their initial contributions?

Vanguard Charitable donors support favorite charities more consistently over time


How does a Vanguard Charitable DAF empower even more effective giving?

Vanguard Charitable donors grant more money to charity over time


How can DAFs further amplify a charitable contribution?

Vanguard Charitable donors report increased levels of effective giving.


How does the behavior of donors change over time?

Key Takeaways

People may open donor-advised funds for many reasons. They may be seeking to maximize generosity through tax benefits or to find a more cost-effective alternative to private foundations. They may also want to use tax-free growth of philanthropic investments to give even more over time.


No matter the reason for opening, people begin their DAF philanthropic journey with a meaningful commitment to strategic philanthropy. Why Giving Matters observes that a donor-advised fund can have a profound impact for the better on donor behavior over time. The longer a donor has a Vanguard Charitable donor-advised fund, the more generously and more effectively they give to charity.


The DAF report considered various factors that constitute effective giving beyond just giving more. The study not only reviewed the observable giving behavior but also how donors themselves view their giving.


How do donors demonstrate more effective giving? What can nonprofits expect from those who grant with this giving vehicle? Download the report now and see the numbers for yourself.

The impact of unrestricted granting

Vanguard Charitable strives to provide top philanthropic guidance. One piece of advice often shared is to give unrestricted grants when possible. Unrestricted granting means that when donors recommend a grant, the funds can be used however the nonprofit deems best.


Unrestricted granting is a top request from nonprofits and is an important part of trust-based philanthropy. For those looking for effective giving tips, this is a top recommendation.


So, what did this DAF report discover about giving behavior and unrestricted granting? It's good news for nonprofits—data shows that Vanguard Charitable donors are listening to what their favorite charities want.


Download the report and discover how nonprofits may be able to encourage even higher levels of unrestricted granting.

Download Why Giving Matters 

This report is rich in data that can help you better understand effective giving and donor-advised fund grants. This free report is valuable to donors looking to give more effectively and nonprofits looking to understand key partners better. It can also help anyone in the giving sector interested in meaningful trends in giving behavior.


To access the exclusive findings in Why Giving Matters, please complete the form.


Session timed out

For security reasons, you have been automatically logged out. To login, please click close and sign into your account.

Log out successful

This account is frozen. Contact us at donorservice@vanguardcharitable.org.
Request for user ID submitted

Your request was successfully submitted.Your user ID will be sent to the email address we have on file for you. Please contact us if you do not receive your user ID.
There are no open accounts associated with this User ID. Please contact us at donorservice@vanguardcharitable.org.
Online access to your account is currently disabled. Please contact us at donorservice@vanguardcharitable.org to resolve this matter.

Log out successful

Login with your new User ID.

Log out successful

Login to access your account.
You do not currently have valid roles for any accounts. Please contact us at donorservice@vanguardcharitable.org.

A technical error has occurred

In order to maintain information security, your log-in request was canceled or your previous session ended.
Don't worry. You can log back in at any time.


Technical error. Please try again.

Log out successful

Login to update your phone number.

Technical error

You have reached a technical error and this session is not currently available.
Your email address was successfully verified.
Your account has been unblocked. Click login to access your account.

It’s not you. It’s us!

We are experiencing a technical error and we’re working on it. Please try again later.

You are unauthorized to access this page.


Maintenance fee may be applied

Accounts having a balance below $25,000 may be subject to an annual maintenance fee of $250.


You are eligible for special rates

Our premier clients enjoy reduced pricing to further maximize their impact.

Our representatives are happy to guide you through.

No, take me back


Click OK to cancel your enrollment.

Click Cancel to continue opening your account.