The tables below compare donor-advised fund accounts to other types of charitable giving vehicles. Donor-advised funds have outnumbered private foundations and the combined total of other gift planning vehicles (trusts, annuities and pooled income funds) for several years.

Table 2 shows an estimated total of 238,293 donor-advised fund accounts among all charitable sponsors included in this report. This number compares with an estimated 82,045 private foundations. The combined estimated total of the other gift planning vehicles (private foundations, unitrusts, annuity trusts, lead trusts and pooled income funds) was 190,447 in 2014.

Table 2: Donor-Advised Fund Growth Compared with Other Charitable Giving Vehicles (Total Number of Funds)
  2013 2014 % change
Donor-Advised Funds 218,993 238,293 8.8%
Charitable Remainder Unitrusts 89,744 88,262 -1.7%
Private Foundations* 79,616 82,045 3.0%
Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts 13,494 12,459 -7.7%
Charitable Lead Trusts 6,456 6,414 -0.6%
Pooled Income Funds 1,295 1,267 -2.2%
Table 3: Donor-Advised Fund Growth Compared with Other Charitable Giving Vehicles (Dollar Value of Assets in Billions)
  2013 2014 % change
Donor-Advised Funds $ 57.08 $ 70.70 23.9%
Charitable Remainder Unitrusts $ 81.91 $ 78.71 3.9%
Private Foundations* $ 654.31 $ 695.3 6.3%
Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts $ 5.97 $ 5.52 -7.5%
Charitable Lead Trusts $ 25.85 $ 28.20 9.1%
Pooled Income Funds $ 1.23 $ 1.21 -1.6%

Italics indicate an NPT estimate using compound annual growth rate for 2009 - 2013.

* The Foundation Center uses the term “independent foundation” for non-corporate private foundations.

Sources: NPT Donor-Advised Fund Report for donor-advised funds, Internal Revenue Service for CRUTs, CRATs, CLTs, and PIFs; Foundation Center for foundations, except where estimated by NPT as noted.