Inner-City Scholarship Fund: Increasing Donor-Advised Funds Giving


A donor-advised fund, or DAF, is an investment account set up by donors used solely to support qualified charitable organizations. Donor-advised funds are a hugely and increasingly popular vehicle for giving. In 2021, DAF donors granted at historic levels, totaling an estimated $34.67 billion (National Philanthropic Trust, 2021), which represents a 27% increase compared to 2019In this context, our partner Inner-City Scholarship Fund needed to make sure their supporters knew the organization accepts donations from donor-advised funds. 


We recommended an always-on approach, pushing donor-advised fund giving in all direct mail pieces in postscripts, on the reply forms, and with special inserts.  

In addition, we recommended Inner-City Scholarship Fund build an informative page about donor-advised funds on their website, to provide supporters with more details on this giving vehicle.  

In all email appeals, we presented donor-advised funds as another way to give, with an in-text link to the dedicated webpage for more information.  

We also launched two cultivation emails, one at the end of the calendar year and one during tax season, to raise awareness about donor-advised funds.  


Inner-City Scholarship Fund raised 78% more gifts from donor-advised funds in 2021 than in 2020. The average gift via this channel also increased by 37%.  

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