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Crash Course in DAFs: An Introduction to Donor-Advised Funds for the Nonprofit Professional


Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) are philanthropy's fastest-growing vehicle but are often misunderstood. They differ from both foundation grants and from individual gifts. Yet, the stages of the donor cycle remain relevant for nonprofit professionals building relationships with DAF donors. 
This session will address what DAFs are, how they are different from other philanthropic gifts, and how nonprofits can get them. Attendees will be equipped to incorporate DAFs into their organization's diversified funding strategy. The discussion will feature panelists who administer DAFs on behalf of donors.
Specifically, this session will include:
- An introduction to DAFs; 
- A short history of DAFs and information about their recent growth in popularity;
- Overview of the different types of institutions that administer DAFs;
- Suggestions on how to cultivate donors who give through DAFs; 
- A critical discussion of legal and ethical issues surrounding acknowledgment processes and donor benefits related to DAFs, which are different than those requirements for foundations or individual donors; and
- Recommendations on how development offices should think about DAFs as part of their comprehensive development strategy and sustainability plan.
GPC Competencies Addressed:
How to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs
Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders 


Kristin Raack is CEO of AltruNext, a professional services firm that partners with nonprofits to advance the greater good. She is committed to helping organizations improve their health, achieve their missions, and increase their sustainability. During her 20-year career, Kristin has raised funds for nonprofits focused on education, healthcare, and social services. Her experience includes funder research, grant writing, annual funds, major gifts, capital campaigns, and strategic planning.