USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – November 2021

on November 16, 2021 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

November evokes gratitude and generosity, especially this year, as we are grateful to operate and thrive in spite of the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Looking back, nonprofit organizations have a lot to be thankful for, including the various ways donors contributed to and supported charitable organizations during COVID-19. Recent reports, such as Giving USA 2021 saw that charitable giving in the United States increased by 3.8 percent (adjusted for inflation) in 2020.

As you may be aware, a Donor-Advised-Fund (DAF) is a giving vehicle that provides opportunities for donors to support charitable organizations and causes such as universities, hospitals, and other nonprofits. The National Philanthropic Trust recently released its 15th annual report that examines close to 1000 charitable organizations which sponsor DAFs. This report contains data about significant grant making growth over a decade, most notably on how donors responded during the 2020 pandemic. We can learn following from the findings of this report:
  • The estimated total amount of $34.67 billion from DAFs to qualified charities is the highest DAF grant amount in a decade.
  • The DAF payout rate was 23.8 percent, which is one of the highest payouts on record.
  • Contributions to DAFs in 2020 totaled $47.85 billion, an all-time-high.
  • There has been an increase of 16.3 percent of the number of individual DAF accounts in the U.S. The total number of accounts increased to 1,005,099.
  • In 2020, charitable assets under management totaled $159.83 billion, which is a 9.9 percent increase from $145.49 billion in 2019.
Another special report by Giving USA on Donor Advised Funds points out that educational charities received, on average, 29 percent of all money given by donor-advised funds from 2014 to 2018. Charitable institutions should be aware of the proposed enactment of the “Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act” or the “ACE Act,” which creates new types of DAFs, restricts the flexibility of DAF sponsors, and mandates specific timelines for the distributions of fund held by any DAF. I hope the higher education industry is able to benefit from DAFs in the future.

On a different note, I’m excited to announce and welcome our new team member, Jeff Benson, who has recently joined the USM Advancement team as Prospect Researcher. Jeff has previously worked at George Washington University, Washington National Cathedral, and Oceana, a conservation organization. Jeff is also a Towson graduate.

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. As always, feel free to reach out us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!
Best Regards,

Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team

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