A Data-Informed Dialogue on DAF Payout

Host Organization: Council of Michigan Foundations


Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are among the fastest growing tools available to donors as a vehicle for managing their charitable giving. DAFs, and specifically DAF payout rates, have also been the subject of much recent conversation and debate as leaders inside and outside our sector consider how philanthropic dollars are best activated when there is so much community need. CMF partnered with the research team at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy to develop critical research around the account-level activity of DAFs held by Michigan-based community foundations to understand what the data tells us about DAF payout rates within our community of philanthropy. The resulting study is among the most in-depth snapshots of DAF activity available to the field to date. Join this national conversation with foundation peers and the leaders and research teams from CMF and the Johnson Center as we together explore the study's key findings and consider how these knowledge insights can inform foundation policies, practices and grantmaking goals in our efforts to support equitable thriving communities.


  • Teresa Behrens, executive director, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Regina Bell, director, government relations and public policy, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Kyle Caldwell, president and chief executive officer, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Brittany Kienker, knowledge insights expert in residence, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Jeff Williams, director, community data and research lab, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

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