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Policy Issue Brief: Donor-Advised Funds

Publication date: 
October, 2022

Donor-Advised Funds


According to the National Philanthropic Trust, a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable account held by a public 501(c)3 entity which receives donations from an individual. Donors can receive an immediate tax deduction based on their donation and then advise on how the funds are granted going forward.


In June 2021, Senators Grassley (R-IA) and King (I-ME) introduced the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act, a bill that seeks to impose legislative mandates on donor-advised funds (DAFs) and private foundations.

The Forum recognizes the important role that DAFs play in charitable giving, and also understands the significance of having a discussion about various ways to best enhance giving. The Forum will work with our members, national partners, and experts in the field to take a deep dive on the proposed mandates in this bill and possible alternatives by gathering valuable feedback and examining critical data. The Forum believes this approach will allow us to do the following:

  • Provide an opportunity for Forum members and sector-related organizations to analyze the proposed mandates through a racial equity lens;
  • Provide an opportunity for Forum members and sector-related organizations to learn from each other and better understand the current challenges around building consensus on sector reforms;
  • Identify potential actions to address those challenges; and
  • Develop recommendations and/or legislative alternatives based on those discussions.

On May 24, 2021, the Forum sent a letter signed by 81 charitable sector leaders from across the country to Congressional leaders and staff about the need to involve the broad charitable sector in discussions about legislation that impacts the sector. We will continue to highlight the importance of sector inclusion in these talks in our communications on Capitol Hill. The 92 PSOs in the Forum’s network represent more than 7,000 foundations and other philanthropic organizations across the country, and their voices and involvement are vital in these discussions.

While the Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act was born of out of a proposal that did not include input from the broader sector, the Forum is committed to doing our due diligence, engaging the field, and finding consensus on common sense and equitable solutions.

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