Donor Advised Funds grow as partner in charity

National reports of great year-end growth in Advised Funds make us proud in the community foundation field.  This flexible tool for philanthropy began at a community foundation in the 1930s and has continued to serve as a great way for individuals, families and businesses to make the most of their charitable giving.

In 2012, 75 percent of our gifts either added to or established Advised Funds at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. From 2008 through 2012, Advised Funds gifts made up 68 percent, showing the continued satisfaction of our donors in seeking to make a difference through their Advised Funds.

Kathryn Corey with donors at special eventOur Giving Together program is just one example of the way  Advised Fund donors work as active partners with the Community Foundation. Together, we make great things happen, from Project Phoenix to bring new life to homeless men to a TIGER IV federal grant to build 29 miles of the Red Rock Trail and so much more.

More on the national trend: According to a 2012 report from the National Philanthropic Trust, contributions to donor-advised fund accounts in 2011 hit a record $9.64 billion and accounted for 3.2 percent of all charitable giving in the United States. More important, for that same year, grants from donor-advised fund accounts totaled a record $7.70 billon, 13.6 percent higher than in 2010.

We believe that trend will continue when year-end figures are complete for 2012, based on the enthusiastic response from our own donor advisors as they add to or establish new funds at the Community Foundation and challenge our staff to help them do even more.  To find out more about how you can make the most of your own charitable giving with the knowledge and experience available here, contact Erin Stephenson.

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