Donor-advised funds have been of debate within state and federal politics for many years, with various attempts to regulate donor-advised funds (DAFs) to increase their transparency, accountability, and spend down policy. A new attempt to change the policy around DAFs is currently being routed through the United States Senate. Under the proposed Accelerating Charitable Investments (ACE) Act, DAFs would either be allowed to be maintained for 15-years or 50-years. Presently, DAFs can be passed from generation to generation with no requirement that they are spent out over a period of time, or even that a percentage of funds be distributed—unlike the requirement for private foundations to distribute 5% annually.
Under this proposed Act, community foundations would be exempt from certain provisions which would allow them to continue funding their work in their service regions; however, the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative recently issued a statement mentioning “proposals to place restrictions on DAFs – including the latest legislation proposed by Sen. Angus King and Sen. Charles Grassley – are solutions in search of problems.”
Donor Stewardship doesn’t have to be expensive and time intensive. While you should invest time and energy in donor stewardship, we understand that small nonprofits may struggle to have the capacity to create and sustain a comprehensive donor stewardship strategy.
However, donor stewardship is so important and should not be dismissed or overlooked. It IS vital to your organization’s long term sustainability, and should be treated as such. Donor stewardship can take many forms, and there are lots of creative and inexpensive ways to engage and cultivate relationships with your donors, even for the smallest nonprofit.
In the nonprofit sector we are starting to speak more and more about capacity building. Although that popular buzzword is thrown around all over the place, there isn’t a lot of agreement on what that actually looks like at ground level.
Capacity building is, at it's most basic, “an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit.” We believe that one of the best and most cost effective ways to make your organization sustainable is through a (and excuse our language) kickass donor stewardship strategy.