1 in 5 charities received a grant from a donor advised fund in 2021, and 7 other major findings from a new landscape report

“I think we’ve got to get over fighting over whether they’re good, bad or different,” says researcher Keith Sjogren of donor advised funds.

Why It Matters

Gifts from affluent donors comprise a growing share of the total donations flowing to Canadian charities; and an increasing share of these wealthy donors are choosing to give through donor advised funds. This sea change has implications for fundraisers.

Over the last couple of years, Yvonne Harding has seen a new type of donation flow into her charity’s account, and a new report shows she’s not alone.  

Harding is the one-woman fundraising team of the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, a charity that offers 24/7 telephone crisis counseling for women across Ontario who have experienced emotional, physical or psychological abuse. 

Their core funding — over $2 million each year — comes from the provincial government. These funds are essential, Harding says, but they’ve not kept pace with the astronomical growth in demand for their services that’s occurred since the start of the pandemic. 

To help bridge the gap, Harding has been writing grant applications, building the organization’s monthly giving program, and strengthening relationships with corporate donors looking for ever-elusive multi-year gifts.

Our social impact coverage and insights enrich thousands of change makers like you everyday. Sign up for a free account with Future of Good to continue reading this series.