In my previous blogs, I’ve mentioned how donor advised funds brought democratization to philanthropy. Put differently, donor advised funds have become like the latest fad product buy. While certainly, there’s still an opportunity for donor advised funds to grow in number, they are enough people who have “bought” them that they are asking the question: “what next?”
What next for donor advised funds?
Many don’t want to use their donor advised funds simply as a dispensary. They want to start conversations with their family about giving, why giving, why they give as a family, what their vision and mission is as a family. Many families realize that their aim is not to just pass on financial wealth; their bigger desire is to leave a meaningful and enduring legacy with their children.
A lasting family legacy—that’s big stuff. But it takes work to get there. Increasingly, that’s the work I’ve been called into work with families on many and various issues. These discussions of family legacy are the “deeper” that families want. The donor advised fund is a tool, not the end, to prompting some of these discussions.
At the same time, families also want to consider the impact of their giving. They want to make a difference. There are so many ministries vying for their attention. They don’t want to just give out 1,000 grants and fund operating budgets. They want to make real and meaningful change. Sometimes that means starting new entities. Sometimes it means to bring about collaboration to produce an end result, i.e., complete bible translation.
Families want the same kind of results with their advisory team. They want collaborative plans. Not just their team of lawyers, accounts and wealth managers working in isolation. They want plans that reflect their values and provides protection and support to their children and grandchildren.
It’s the next new wave for donor advised funds. Deeper with family. Deeper with giving impact, and deeper with their advisory team. Look for it. It’s where we are going!