From 2013 to 2014, the U.S. economy grew 2.4 percent, after adjusting for inflation. This remains below the 40-year average (1974-2013) of 2.7 percent but is the second-highest rate of growth since 2008 (the highest was in 2010 at 2.5 percent).5

In 2014, the official unemployment rate was 6.2, down from 7.4 percent the prior year. As a comparison, the 2007 pre-recession unemployment rate was 4.6 percent.6

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.5 percent in 2014, closing at 17,820.07. This surpasses the prior year-end high of 16,576.66.7

Donor-advised funds saw substantial growth in every metric, including grant dollars, total contributions and charitable assets (Table 1).

Of particular note:

  • Grantmaking from donor-advised fund accounts to qualified charities totaled an estimated $12.49 billion, representing an increase of 27.0 percent compared with 2013, which is revised to $9.83 billion.
  • Contributions to donor-advised fund accounts increased to $19.66 billion, or a 14.1 percent increase compared with the prior year’s contributions, which are revised to $17.23 billion.
  • Charitable assets in donor-advised fund accounts grew by $13.63 billion in 2014 to $70.70 billion. This represents a 23.9 percent growth from a revised total of $57.08 billion last year. These numbers continue a trajectory of double-digit growth in charitable assets that began in 2010. This is the second consecutive year in which assets have increased by more than 20 percent.
Table 1:Donor-Advised Fund Metrics Overview*
  2013 2014 % change
Charitable Assets $ 57.08 Billion $ 70.70 Billion 23.9%
Total Contributions $ 17.23 Billion $ 19.66 Billion 14.1%
Total Grant Dollars $ 9.83 Billion $ 12.49 Billion 27.0%
Grant Payout** 21.9% 21.9% 0%
Total # of DAF Accounts 218,993 238,293 8.8%
Average Size of DAF*** Account $ 260,626 $ 296,701 13.7%

* Values reflect 1,016 fund sponsors, of which 978 had data for 2013. Estimates for others are included in these totals.

** Grant Payout = Grant Dollars divided by Charitable Assets at end of prior year multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

*** Average size of a DAF Account = Total Assets Under Management divided by Total Number of DAF Accounts.

  1. All growth percentages calculated using “GDP in billions of chained 2009 dollars” in the table for national Gross Domestic Product values released September 25, 2015 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis,
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average unemployment rate, civilian labor force 16 years and over, not seasonally adjusted, Accessed October 7, 2015.
  3. Figures taken from Dow Jones Averages, closing figure, accessed October 16, 2015. Inflation adjustment uses Personal Consumption Expenditures Index used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,