With the flood of news from all angles we experience each day, it’s hard to stay on top of everything that impacts your world. In the last two months there have been a number of important new items related to donor advised funds that have been published.  Here’s our brief commentary on four that stood out to us.

  1. Fairbairn v. Fidelity Charitable – a judge in Northern California ruled in February in favor of Fidelity Charitable on all counts in a high-profile lawsuit resulting from the liquidation of a very large contribution of publicly traded stock in late December 2017. While a number of factors contributed to the final ruling, one of the important results was the reaffirmation of a DAF sponsoring charity’s control of an irrevocably gifted asset and its ability to liquidate it per its policies. Read Full Article at ThinkAdvisor.
  2. National Philanthropic Trust’s (NPT) 2020 DAF Report – this annual look into the DAF world came out last month and showed continued solid growth in the aggregate DAF sector. What is not visible in the report is that most of the increase is occurring in a handful of the largest national programs. Also, the evolution of the many different DAF segments (nationals, community foundations, mission-based, etc), and the willingness of larger sponsors to hold large blocks of illiquid assets as ongoing investments, are indicators that the DAF sector that need further analysis and understanding. Read Full Article at National Philanthropic Trust.
  3. Howard Husock’s Analysis of Investment Appreciation in DAFs – this detailed February work based on IRS Form 990 reports from 2015-19, manifests how much market appreciation has been part of the impressive DAF growth in recent years. Knowing that billions in appreciation are in DAF accounts, waiting to be granted away, charities should be cultivating their donors who have DAFs to potentially donate that appreciation to support increased annual and major gifts. Read Full Article at Philanthropy Roundtable.
  4. RenPSG Acquisition of Pinkaloo Technologies – in mid-March, Indiana-based RenPSG announced the acquisition of Pinkaloo Technologies, a Baltimore-based software company driving advanced solutions for the philanthropic space, particularly DAFs. The import of this is that new tech solutions (i.e. ACH distribution of grants, etc.) for DAFs are coming to market – a long-needed advancement in the sector. Read Full Article.

If you wish to learn more about these important developments, please contact us at the Acadia Squam Group.