Making the Most of Donor-Advised Funds: 8 Tips for Nonprofits Looking to Boost Donations

Workplace giving programs are a popular way for employees to donate to causes they care about. Typically, these programs utilize donor-advised funds (DAFs) to make donations from employees to the nonprofits they care about. It’s important for nonprofits to understand how to engage and connect with donors who use DAFs so they can make the most of this valuable source of donations and open doors to potential new donors. By understanding how DAFs work and building relationships with these donors, nonprofits can tap into a valuable source of funding and increase their impact in fulfilling their mission. It’s essential for nonprofits to include DAF engagement as part of their overall fundraising strategy to maximize donations and work toward their mission. 


Here are eight strategies to connect and engage with donors using donor-advised funds


  1. UTILIZE YOUR CRM: Start by using your customer relationship management (CRM) system to identify donors who use DAFs. This information can help tailor your outreach efforts and develop a personalized approach. Remember, a donation from this type of donation vehicle is an intentional gift.
  2. IDENTIFY TRENDS: Take the time to analyze the giving patterns of each DAF donor. Do they consistently give at a certain time every year? Did they give through a  workplace giving program or individual DAF account? Understanding these trends can help you develop targeted outreach and fundraising strategies.

  3. LEVERAGE WORKPLACE GIVING PLATFORMS: Almost 27 million Americans have access to workplace giving programs where their donations are often matched, which can amplify their donation. Ensure your organization has comprehensive and engaging profiles on workplace-giving platforms, such as NPOconnect or general platforms like Guidestar, to increase visibility and make it easier for potential donors to find and support your cause.

  4. FACILITATE COMPANY-WIDE VOLUNTEER DAYS: If you know a group of donors who participate in workplace giving programs or work at the same company, consider partnering with the organization to organize a company-wide volunteer day. Volunteerism drives both employee engagement and donations to support nonprofits. This can help increase existing donations and attract new donors who are inspired by your organization’s mission.

  5. SHARE IMPACT: When communicating with DAF donors, highlight the impact their donations are making toward achieving your mission. Share success stories, testimonials, data points, and concrete examples of how their contributions make a difference in the community.

  6. PRIORITIZE DAF DONATIONS: DAF donations often have a faster turnaround time than other donation methods. If your organization has immediate needs or time-sensitive projects, consider asking DAF donors first to help secure the funding you need more quickly.

  7. EMPHASIZE ONGOING DONATIONS: When engaging with DAF donors, highlight the importance of ongoing support toward achieving your mission. Encourage donors to set up recurring donations or explore workplace giving programs that offer regular contributions. This will help sustain your organization’s work and make a long-term impact.

  8. THANK THEM: Show appreciation to donors supporting your organization through DAFs. A simple thank-you email or personalized note can go a long way in fostering a strong donor relationship. Many donors include their contact information and email address with their donation, but you may have to do some digging to find it.


By implementing these strategies, nonprofits can connect and engage with donors who use DAFs, ultimately maximizing their fundraising efforts and advancing their mission. Building strong relationships and showcasing the impact of contributions will help nurture ongoing support from this valuable group of donors.


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To learn more about The Blackbaud Giving Fund, visit, or follow the organization on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram for updates, news, and more.