Donor-Advised Fund Letter of Support

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Last week, The Washington Post published an article grossly mischaracterizing the value and importance of DAFs as a philanthropic tool. The Council immediately responded by penning a letter to the editor (see below) outlining how DAFs encourage charitable giving and enable community foundations to address immediate and long-term needs at the local level.

As the Post considers our submission, we are reaching out to our community foundation colleagues to ask they show their support by adding their name to the letter. It’s important that we collectively confront threats to and correct misinformation about the philanthropic sector as they arise. Foundations already lending their support include Albuquerque Community Foundation, Arizona Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Central Georgia, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, The Miami Foundation, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New York Community Trust, and The Seattle Foundation.

To signal your support, please sign into the CEOnet on Philanthropy Exchange and post your name, title, and foundation name or email us directly at govt@cof.org.

Thank you in advance for helping elevate how critical DAFs are to community development!

[Letter copy in full]

Tuesday’s article on donor-advised funds (DAFs) (“Wall Street is sitting on billions meant for American charities ,” June 21) provides a laundry list of damaging and inaccurate assertions about DAFs, specifically those created by financial institutions. Community foundations, leading stewards of positive change at the local level, also sponsor DAFs which offer the benefit of being an efficient and less administratively burdensome option for many donors who want to establish philanthropic vehicles.

When donors create DAFs at community foundations, they ensure support for nonprofits and leverage the foundation’s programs, collective giving efforts, and civic leadership to further advance local causes. They are able to address immediate needs and, importantly, long-term efforts.

For more than 100 years, community foundations have partnered with philanthropists to support communities. This includes helping donors identify their giving goals and strategy. DAFs factor into these conversations because of their many benefits. For example, DAFs:

  • Provide flexibility. DAFs allow community foundations to quickly respond to local needs including emergency response efforts.
  • Democratize giving . DAFs require modest financial contributions, making them within the reach of most charitable givers.
  • Connect donors to purpose. DAFs empower individuals to support long-term solutions for tough community issues with the benefit of guidance from professionals.

The real threat to charitable giving is not DAFs but one-sided, mischaracterizations of an important philanthropic vehicle that encourages civic engagement.

Rather than narrowing the breadth of tools available, we should focus on expanding and protecting giving options that help citizens to advance the common good in their communities.

Vikki Spruill
Javier Soto
Randall Royster
Tony Mestres
Hazle Hamilton
Richard Ober
Steve Seleznow
Lorie A. Slutsky
Debbie Wilkerson

Ms. Spruill is president and chief executive officer of the Council on Foundations.
Mr. Soto is vice chair of the Council on Foundations’ board of directors and president and chief executive officer of The Miami Foundation.
Mr. Royster is a Council on Foundations’ board of directors member and current past president of the Community Foundations National Standards Board and president and chief executive officer of the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
Mr. Mestres is a Council on Foundations’ board of directors member and president and chief executive officer of The Seattle Foundation.
Ms. Hamilton is president of the Community Foundations National Standards Board and executive vice president of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.
Mr. Ober is president and chief executive officer of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
Mr. Seleznow is president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Community Foundation.
Ms. Slutsky is president of the New York Community Trust.
Ms. Wilkerson is president and chief executive officer of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

 

New Co-signers:

Lisa Ashner Adkins

Jane Alexander

Nancy Anthony

John Baker

Charles Barber

Aaron Bedell

Janice Black

Audrey Bode

Cali Brooks

Diane Brown

Ray Caraway

Stuart Comstock-Gay

Eileen Connolly-Keesler

Jane Conover

Melissa Curtin

Jan DeBerg

Melissa Diers

Linda Engh-Grady

Kaye Englin

Theresa Erickson

Max Evans

Virginia Frantz

Chris Fulton

Sheila Garrity

Bonnie Gettys

Ellen Gilligan

Liz Hamburg

Kathleen Harmon

Josie Heath

Raymond Hebert

Eileen Heisman

Valerie Hepburn

Revlan Hill

Kari Isaacson

Dean Jacob

Mary Jalonick

Roxie Jerde

Steve Joul

Mike Kane

Amber Kiggens-Leifheit

Vickie Klein

Kristi Knous

Molly Kunkel

Robert Lang

Stephen Maislin

Mary Kay Mark

Steven Markel

Anne McEnany

Greg Meyer

Yurianna Mikolay

Holly Morrison 

Kevin Murphy

Susie Nelson

Dennis Noll

Kristin O'Malley

Sharon Omahen

Liz Powell

Shelly Prichard

Meredith Printz

Pedro Ramos

Sherry Ristau

Sandi Roehrig

Mary Rutherford

Karen Selim

Diana Sieger

Judy Sjostedt

Denise Spencer

Bettie Stammerjohn

Neil Steinberg

Bernard Story

Nancy Taylor

Daniel Templin

Jennifer Tolle Whiteside

Bob Tracy

Paul Urban

Nina Waters

Jennifer Wilson

Katie Wright

Jonathan Lorenzo Yorba

Ms.  Adkins is the president and chief executive officer of the Blue Grass Community Foundation.

Ms.  Alexander is the president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. 

Ms. Anthony is the president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. 

Mr. Baker is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri.

Mr.  Barber is the president and chief executive officer of The Luzerne Foundation.

Mr.  Bedell is executive associate of the Permian Basin Area Foundation.

Ms. Black is the president and chief executive officer of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. 

Ms. Bode is executive director of the Marshfield Area Community Foundation.

Ms. Brown is the executive director of The Community Foundation for South Central New York, Inc.

Mr. Caraway is the executive director of the Communtiy Foundation of Norther Colorado. 

Mr. Comstock-Gaty is the president and chief executive officer of the Delaware Community Foundation. 

Ms. Connolly-Keesler is the president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Collier County. 

Ms. Conover is the president and chief executive officer of the York County Community Foundation. 

Ms. Curtin is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County.

Ms. DeBerg is the executive director of the Watertown Area Community Foundation. 

Ms. Diers is the executive director of the Fremont Area Community Foundation. 

Ms. Engh-Grady is the president of the White Community Foundation. 

Ms. Englin is the president and chief executiver officer of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. 

Ms. Erickson is the executive director of the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation. 

Mr.  Evans is the founder of Catapultian Foundation.

Ms. Frantz is the president and chief executive officer of The Montgomery Foundation, Inc.

Mr.  Fulton is the executive director of the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. 

Ms. Garrity is the executive director of the La Crosse Community Foundation. 

Ms. Gettys is the president and chief executive officer of the Barry Community Foundation.

Ms. Gilligan is the president and chief executive officer of The Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Ms. Hamburg is the executive director of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation.

Mr. Herbert is the president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Acadiana.

Mr. Hill is the president and chief executive officer of the The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Ms. Harmon is the executive director of the Amador Community Foundation. 

Ms. Heath is the president of The Community Foundation - Boulder County Colorado.

Ms. Hepburn is the president and chief executive office of the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation. 

Ms. Isaacson is the executive director of the Blue Mountain Community Foundation. 

Mr. Jacob is the president and chief executive officer of the Marion Community Foundation.

Ms. Jalonick is the president and chief executive office of The Dallas Foundation.

Ms. Jerde is the president and chief execuitve officer of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Mr. Joul is the is the president and chief executive officer of the Community Giving (Alexandria Area Community Foundation; Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation; Central Minnesota Community Foundation; Willmar Area Community Foundation.

Mr. Kane is the president of the Community Foundation for the Alleghanies.

Ms. Kiggens-Leifheit is executive director of the Marchfield Area Community Foundation.

Ms. Klein is the executive director of the Phelps County Community Foundation.

Ms. Knous is the president of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. 

Ms. Kunkel is the executive director of the Centre Foundations. 

Mr. Lang is the chief executive officer of the Mary Elizabeth & Gordon B. Mannweiler Foundation Inc. 

Ms. Maislin is the president and chief exective officer of the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Ms. Mark is the director of gift planning for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. 

Mr. Markel is the president of the Ocean Reef Community Foundation.

Ms. McEnany is president and chief executive officer of the International Community Foundation.

Mr. Meyer is the executive director Illinois Prairier Community Foundation.

Ms. Mikolay is the executive director of the Ocean Reef Community Foundation. 

Ms. Morrison is the president and chief executive officer of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation.

Mr. Murphy is the president of the Berks County Community Foundation. 

Ms. Nelson is the executive director of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley. 

Mr. Noll is the president and chief executive officer of the San Antonio Area Foundation.

Ms. Omahen is the executive director of the Coastal Community Foundation. 

Ms. O'Malley is the executive director of The Cape Cod Foundation.

Ms. Powell is the executive director of the Racine Community Foundation. 

Ms. Prichard is the president and chief executive officer of the Wichita Community Foundation. 

Ms. Printz is the executive director of the Missoula Community Foundation. 

Mr.  Ramos is the president and chief executive officer of The Philadelphia Foundation. 

Ms. Ristau is the president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend. 

Ms. Roehrig is the executive director of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation. 

Ms. Rutherford is the president and chief executive offcier of the Montana Community Foundation. 

Ms. Selim is the president and chief executive officer of the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. 

Ms. Sieger is the president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Ms. Sjostedt is the executive director of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.

Ms. Spencer is the president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Inc. 

Ms. Stammerjohn is the executive director of the Communtiy Foundation of Greene County.

Mr. Steinberg is the president and chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Foundation. 

Mr. Story is the president and chief executive officer of the Leigh Valley Community Foundation.

Ms. Taylor is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Burke County. 

Mr. Templin is the executive director of the DeKalb County Community Foundation.

Mr. Tracy is the director of public policy and communications of the Minnesota Council on Foundations. 

Mr. Urban is the executive director of The Community Foundation.

Ms. Waters is the president of The community Foundation for Notheast Florida. 

Ms. Whiteside is the president and chief executive officer of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Ms. Wilson is the president and chief executive officer Fisrt Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Wright is the executive director of the Park City Community Foundation. 

Mr. Yorba  is the president and chief executive officer of The Community Foundation.