The tables below compare donor-advised fund accounts to private foundations. 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 269,180 donor-advised fund accounts among all charitable sponsors included in this report. This number compares with an estimated 81,802 private foundations.

In previous years, NPT has estimated the total number of and assets in the other gift planning vehicles (private foundations, unitrusts, annuity trusts, lead trusts and pooled income funds). The Internal Revenue Service stopped publishing these statistics in 2012. Given the impact of economic conditions on these charitable giving vehicles, we will no longer estimate the number and value of them.

Table 2: Donor-Advised Fund Growth Compared with Other Charitable Giving Vehicles (Total Number of Funds)
  2014 2015 % Change
Donor-Advised Funds 242,390 269,180 11.1%
Private Foundations* 79,729 81,802 2.6%
Table 3: Donor-Advised Fund Growth Compared with Other Charitable Giving Vehicles (Dollar Value of Assets in Billions)
  2014 2015 % Change
Donor-Advised Funds $ 70.27 Billion $ 78.64 Billion 11.9%
Private Foundations* $ 712.45 Billion $ 781.60 Billion 9.7%

Italics indicate an NPT estimate using compound annual growth rate for 2010 - 2014.

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

Sources: NPT Donor-Advised Fund Report for donor-advised funds; Foundation Center for foundations, except where estimated by NPT as noted.