FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

What are "DAFS"?


Dear Kim,

I am an inexperienced board member for a small tutoring program. We had a guest speaker on fundraising that someone arranged for us and he went on and on about DAFs and how we should find donors with DAFs. Each of us on the board thought the others knew what he was talking about but afterwards it turned out none of us knew. Do you know? We felt stupid that we didn’t ask him and now we have renamed our board Daffy and the Dumbclucks.


Dear Friends,

I am renaming you “Way too hard on yourselves.” Your guest made some big assumptions, and your question serves as an important reminder to all of us not to use initials to describe things that are not in the common lexicon. I assume by now one of you has looked this up on the internet and discovered that your guest was either talking about Dissolved Air Flotation, which is a water treatment method, or a Donor Advised Fund. I imagine the latter.

Donor Advised Funds are basically parking lots for money. (Good article and infographic here.) Donors who need or want to give away a large amount of money at once but don’t want (or don’t have enough knowledge) to decide which charities to give it to may open a DAF, often at a community foundation. They get a charitable deduction for the gift in the year they make it but the distribution of the funds can be spread over as many years as they want. So in your case, suppose I have a donor advised fund and I am interested in education. The community foundation where I have my DAF might recommend your program, or I might find out about it from a friend or the internet, and then I can direct some of that money to your organization in the form of a grant. OR, you might find out that the community foundation has a donor interested in education, and you submit a proposal to be put in front of that donor.  

Your guest speaker was being a little cavalier in his advice to ‘just find donors with DAFs.’ This is not public information and there is no master list of DAFs. Some foundations list some of their DAFs, but sometimes donors open DAFs to remain more anonymous. The better advice is to find prospects of all sizes who like what you do. Ask these people to support your program and when you have a favorable response, ask them who they know who might support your program. Eventually you will be led to a donor with a DAF (who may or may not be Daffy) and in the meantime, you will be led to a lot of donors.

I close with this advice that I am sure you give the students you tutor: the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.

Good luck.

~Kim Klein

To learn how FundRaiser can help you track and follow-up with prospects, take an online guided tour of FundRaiser 

The Value of a Salutation
Effectively Track Online Donations

Related Posts

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
support tech tip major gift prospects user interface ticket sales case study donor advised funds annual maintenance plan overview publicity materials increasing giving amounts segmenting donors community supported gardens legacy giving development director FundRaiser Spark how-to videos data conversion Groupings understanding giving trends texting donors the Ask correspondance targeted mailings corporate sponsors donor source ROI premiums pledges LYBUNTS transparency new leadership planned giving large donations Snow Birds giving levels moves management features new donors change of address updating volunteering Thank You government grants tribute gifts password protection user spotlights upgrading donors direct mail importing csv banquet thank you letters Congratulations spare fields alumni merge fields Task List donor contact information gift notes field SYBUNTS product news motivation repeat donors Constant Contact donor preferences PayPal training in honor of donations Company culture gift acceptance policy Resiliency End of Year Letters volunteers pictures arts budget social media membership programs welcome packet donor profile Facebook letter templates capital campaign Tickles community arts nonprofits technical support In-Kind gifts Facebook campaign entering auction gifts operational costs how to handle auction gifts major donors monthly giving reports look and feel mission driven salutation event management donor foundations Codes ticketsales solicitors membership benefits merge notes phoning donors communications personalizing letters donor targeting word processor spreadsheets small donations NCOA processing relationship tracking donor retention rate disaster relief giving history custom page anonymous donors donation history fundraising operating systems Network for Good office grassroots campaign New Year Importing Data security advanced tab lapsed donor new nonprofit backing up data charity golf tournaments updates customer portal donor attrition correspondence fundraising letters Alternative Addresses on site training new features Personalizing GivingTuesday memorial giving data entry donor attrition rate tax summary letters role of nonprofits membersip benefits FundRaiser Hosted add ons gift entry donor slip donor loyalty customer service recurring gifts animal rescue announcements vacation annual campaign Crowdfunding Campaign grants Reminders motivation code community broadcasting donor recognition adding personal notes to letters nonprofit fundraising #GivingTuesday data analysis upgrade Excel Donor Portal brick campaign accounting software board members online donations campaign management flash sales Thanksgiving appeal letters Volunteer module new version raffle online donations National Change of Address building donor relationships Cloud happiness endowment campaign prospects general follow up auction Reporting to IRS mode code GoFundMe project training tip

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password