Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Donor-Advised Funds Growing in Buffalo and Rest of U.S. [Buffalo Business First]

Nov 19, 2014 | Posted in News

Buffalo Business First - November 19, 2014:

Donor-advised funds remain among the most popular giving vehicles in the country, with record highs and growth in all major sectors, according to a new national report.

The report by the National Philanthropic Trust found total charitable assets in donor-advised funds (DAFs) grew to $53.74 billion in 2013, an increase of nearly 20 percent.

It's a trend that extends to the Buffalo region as well, says Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, which administers $310 million in assets, including hundreds of endowments and donor-advised funds.

In the past year alone, the foundation saw its assets grow by 14 percent, primarily through investment growth.

Dedecker said clients with assets held by the Community Foundation are part of an investment pool that has performed in the top 25 percent of endowments and foundations nationwide for more than 10 years. In 2013, the foundation had total assets of $300 million, up from $258 million the year before.

It was the largest foundation in the eight-county region for 2013, according to the Business First 2014 Top Foundations list.
"That performance is often unattainable to organizations with smaller assets," she said. "We believe it's an indicator of individuals and families recognizing they can make a greater charitable impact by leveraging the infrastructure of organizations like community foundations."

Grants paid were also up year over year, from $11 million in 2012 to $11.6 million last year.

Nationwide, according to the National Philanthropic Trust report, grants from DAFs to qualified charities reached a record high last year of $9.66 billion, a 12.6 percent increase over the year before.

The report analyzed IRS Form 990 filings for 1,012 charitable organizations that sponsor donor-advised funds, including national charities, community foundations and other charities.

"Every dollar in a donor-advised fund is destined for charitable organizations," said Eileen Heiseman, president and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust and author of the report.

"More than ever, philanthropists are leveraging the power and flexibility of donor-advised funds, reaffirming their position as the most popular charitable giving vehicle in the U.S.," she said.

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