As the community foundation for New York City, The Trust has long used donor-advised funds as a valuable tool to connect generous New Yorkers to the charities and causes they care about. As critique of these funds have risen, community foundations wanted to express how important donor-advised funds are and illustrate the difference they make in the field. Our president Lorie Slutsky joined other community foundations in a Letter to the Editor in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
“The Chronicle’s latest look at the growth of donor-advised funds (“Disruption Ahead: What to Know About Donor-Advised Funds in 2019,” January 7) lays out many of the criticisms and questions surrounding these popular giving vehicles.
However, as the leaders of community foundations that manage donor-advised funds, we feel it is important to spotlight some crucial things one needs to know that weren’t included in the article.
Donations to donor-advised funds grew by 16.5 percent in 2017, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. But while many are focused on the amount of money going into donor-advised funds, it’s also important to look at how this money is being used.
Grants from donor-advised funds to qualified charities increased by 20 percent in 2017. That means the rate of growth in grant making to charities from donor-advised funds outpaced the rate of growth of money coming in. This continues a trend we’ve been seeing throughout the decade.
The billions of dollars that are granted from these funds each year provide critical services and are being used to solve important problems in our communities….”
You can read the full letter on The Chronicle of Philanthropy.