The donor advised fund (DAF) sector of the American philanthropic market continued to have robust activity in recent months. Here are some of our observations on the highlights of what’s been happening:

  1. NEW DATA REPORTING ON DAFs – The Acadia Squam Group recently completed compiling data from the IRS Form 990, Schedule D on fifty of the largest DAF sponsors in the country from their two most recent filings. Our goal was to develop some new perspectives on DAFs based on sectors that allows for comparing similar DAFs. The report breaks the DAF sector into eight segments and provides commentary on trends in accounts, assets, contributions, and grants. It provides some new insight into the burgeoning DAF world and the fifty sponsors’ activity in ways never, before publicly reported. Remarkably it quantifies how the six largest sponsors comprise about 55% of the TOTAL DAF market. Contact Ben Pierce or Brad Caswell if you wish to learn more.
  2. NEW LEADERSHIP AT THREE LARGE DAF SPONSORS – In an interesting coincidence, Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable and Vanguard Charitable all installed new Presidents in orderly transitions over the last nine months. Congratulations to Jacob Pruitt, Sam Kang and Rebecca Moffett who are now leading the three respective public charities. They have the best jobs in the world, from our perspective.
  3. NEW DAF TECH PROVIDERS ENTERING SECTOR – There have been many new, or updated, announcements about DAF tech providers over the past year. It seemed as if there was a new DAF sponsor or provider popping up every month.  Some of these include Groundswell, Givvor, DAFFY, Philanthropi Charitable, University Impact, Amicus io., CharityVest, B.Charitable and Blackbaudeverfi.  Lots will become aparent in the coming months about their offerings, strategies, and markets.
  4. DAFS ON CAPITOL HILL – As anticipated, no action took place on DAFs on Capitol Hill at the end of 2021. That said, the same issues, players and positions remain in place so 2022 is likely to see more of the occasional stories from both sides of the various arguments. Even though a companion bill to the Senate ACE Act (Senate.1981) was introduced on February 2 the early thinking is that no DAF legislation will be passed in the year ahead as the mid-term elections will preclude any consensus. The wild card will be if the Treasury Department finally issues its long-awaited recommendations on DAFs and supporting organizations.
  5. DAF RESULTS IN 2021 – From various press reports, significant growth in granting from some of the largest sponsors continued in calendar year 2021 (based on early published reports):
Grant $ % change Grant # Unique charities
Fidelity Charitable $ 10.30B +41% 2,200,000 187,000
Schwab Charitable $ 4.40B +20% 945,000 114,000
Silicon Valley CF $ 2.27B +21% n/a 6,000


Donor advised funds continue to show solid signs of ongoing popularity, despite the pandemic, political unsettlement, and economic uncertainty.

If you wish to learn more about any of this content please contact Brad Caswell ( or Ben Pierce (