Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are changing the manner in which Canadians make charitable donations while enabling financial advisors to broaden their practices to encompass this important aspect of family finances. Over the past few years, balances held in DAFs offered by community foundations and other national foundations that provide for the integration of wealth management and philanthropy have grown at an average annual rate of 11.%. At the end of 2016, DAF balances were approximately $3.2 billion. Some 30,000 advisors have direct access to a DAF program and, as awareness grows among investors, there is an urgent need for a broader understanding of the product as well as the benefits and challenges.
This report represents the most comprehensive examination of DAFs available in Canada. It reviews DAFs from all points of view and provides insights into trends, program structures, fees and possible regulatory developments. The report also looks at donor attitudes as well as those of sponsors and advisors and makes projections about the potential opportunity.