A session at this summer’s Bridge Conference* got me thinking: Are non-profits focused on DAF’s today the way they should be? Is DAF giving a priority?
As I think back to 25 years ago when sustainer giving first started to gain a foothold in the US and become more mainstream, I see similarities to DAF. The early adopters, the innovative and forward-thinking non-profits, who made monthly giving a primary focus, were tremendously successful initially. Other non-profits caught up (and continue to catch up) but it was those initial non-profits that paved the way for monthly giving success and reaped the early rewards.
Why should DAF be so important to non-profits today? At the start of 2021, Donor Advised Funds (DAF) accounts nationwide held $160 Billion. That’s Billion with a “B”! That figure is expected to DOUBLE in the next 5 years.
DAF giving continues to become more and more popular as a donation vehicle for donors. And not the one-time or low-dollar donors, but donors who are very philanthropic and, if donating to you, among the most loyal donors to your organization. Close to 70% of DAF donors also donate their time as volunteers supporting their favorite non-profits.
These donors have high retention rates (75%+ on average) and are likely in your Mid-Level or Major Giving programs. And they are great Planned Giving prospects!
Aren’t these DAF donors just the type of committed, long-term donors an organization needs? Are you doing all you can to cultivate them?
Here are just a handful of questions to think about when looking at your organization’s DAF outreach:
- Do you have a DAF fundraising strategy?
- Are you integrating DAF language and promoting DAF as a donation option in all marketing communications?
- Are you looking to identify and cultivate DAF donors?
- Are you looking to model your donor file to identify donors who likely have a DAF account but have not sent a grant to your organization yet?
- Are you tracking DAF donations to your organization? Are you tracking what DAF accounts donors are sending grants through?
- Are you asking these DAF donors to make recurring grants? Asking them to convert the DAF donor into a DAF Sustainer?
- As part of your cultivation, are you asking the DAF donor to name your organization as a successor on the account? A DAF Planned Gift?
As DAF giving continues to increase tremendously, the organizations that actively promote a DAF giving option and look to identify donors who have a DAF account are going to raise more revenue than those who simply collect DAF grants as they come in. A 2020 Fidelity study found that while 42% of non-profits in the last 3 years received a DAF grant, 87% of the non-profits that actively promoted DAF as an option in the last 3 years received a DAF grant.
Get the message out today! Promote DAF as a giving vehicle in your marketing materials. Look to identify likely donors with DAF accounts on your file. And see how beneficial this giving option can be for your non-profit.