Analysis of Donor Advised Funds from a Community Foundation Perspective

Publication date: 
June, 2021

As a leadership organization that supports our community of philanthropy in putting equity at the center, CMF is committed to providing access to quality data insights as a tool for the sector — grounded in the context of local and regional philanthropy — and committed to creating space for reflective conversation on what the data tells us.

In 2020 CMF partnered with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Plante Moran Financial Advisors to deepen and expand past research exploring the 5% payout rate to help answer the question: Have the market forces and growth in philanthropy—and for CMF, growth in Michigan philanthropy specifically—changed enough to warrant an increase in the 5% rule for private foundations?

Building on the learnings of previous studies we’ve commissioned over the past 20 years we released the first installment of our payout study research series – An Evaluation of Private Foundation Model Portfolios, Investment Returns, & Payout Rates – capturing what we believe is the most comprehensive snapshot of private foundation payout data available to date.

In March 2021, we launched An Evaluation of Community Foundation Investment Returns & Payout Rates, phase two of our payout rate research series, focusing on payout rates of community foundations statewide and nationally, as well as in comparison to their private foundation peers.

In June 2021, we again partnered with the Johnson Center to launch Analysis of Donor Advised Funds from a Community Foundation Perspective, phase three of our payout rate research series, focusing on the payout rates of DAFs within the context of the philanthropic sector, specifically the payout rates of DAFs administered by Michigan community foundations.

We encourage you to review the full findings of the studies and examine how the data comports or contrasts with your own organization’s policies and practices. 

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