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  • Writer's pictureMitch Stein

The First-Ever Nonprofit DAF Benchmark Study is almost here! 

We are excited to announce the final participants and the groundbreaking data that will be a part of this landmark piece of research - the first-ever cross-organizational analysis on Donor Advised Fund giving from a nonprofit perspective.



In January, we announced that applications were open for the first-ever nonprofit Donor Advised Fund (DAF) benchmark study. Over the past 3 months, K2D Strategies and Chariot have been reviewing applications and data from dozens of leading nonprofits around the country. We have officially closed the submission window and initiated our analysis on a truly remarkable 10 year data set that includes:


  • 119 million transactions

  • 27 million donors 

  • 324 thousand DAF gifts

  • 89 thousand DAF donors 

  • 21 organizations


From this data, we will have insights into key DAF donor attributes and behaviors, and how those things have evolved from the nonprofit perspective while DAFs have exploded in popularity over the past decade (explore all the latest DAF industry data).


Key areas of the analysis will include:


  • Donor Behavior: Compare the giving patterns of DAF donors to traditional donors across metrics like retention rate, average gift size, second-gift timing, donation frequency, and seasonality.

  • Conversion Paths: Learn how many DAF donors start with your organization through other channels and how their giving evolves once they use a DAF.

  • DAF Trends: Gain insights into overall DAF giving growth and per-donor trends.


While the analysis is still very much underway, some of our high level findings that we will have clear quantitative from initial reviews are: 


  • Once a donor starts giving from their DAF, they become a significantly more valuable supporter to your organization. 

  • DAF giving has become more common for donors across channels and giving levels - DAF donor’s aren’t just making major gifts. 

  • The growth in DAF revenue, number of DAF gifts and DAF donors in the past 5 years is astounding.  


In addition to the historical data analysis at the core of this study, we have also learned a tremendous amount from the qualitative feedback of participants:


  • The industry desperately needs data standards for DAF giving. Many organizations of all sizes were unable to participate because they had not been tracking DAFs properly, or at all. 

  • Leading DAF fundraisers have been increasingly prioritizing DAFs in their communications, marketing assets and websites. 

  • Lack of quality information on DAF donors like name, email, etc. is a significant hurdle to practicing quality stewardship with high-potential donors.  


We will be hard at work on the analysis and report preparation, expecting an official release in June, 2024. If you’d like to be the first to know about updates related to the Nonprofit DAF Benchmark study, you can sign up here for our official announcements.



If you’d like to discuss the report’s findings in an educational conference presentation, webinar or podcast episode, please reach out to contact@givechariot.com with all requests.


Thank you to all of the participating organizations for your work preparing and sharing your historical data for this monumental and collaborative effort. Together, we are giving the nonprofit sector critical insights on the impact of donor advised funds on their fundraising efforts.


Participating organizations include:


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