Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) have grown in use over recent decades, serving as the core philanthropic vehicle for community and public foundations and, more recently, being offered through commercial investment firms as a philanthropic option for clients. When linked with an impact investing strategy, the DAF may serve as a unique, focused asset management vehicle for creating a unified portfolio generating financial performance with social and environmental impacts.
This Issue Brief introduces the concept and structure of DAFs and explores their potential as impact investing vehicles. The DAF as a core component of a unified investment approach is explored together with discussion of why DAFs are especially suited to impact investing. The potential for DAFs to expand options for impact investors is discussed along with possible barriers to their introduction.