DAF policy / can you share your daf policy? Also, do you allow DAF holders to request grant reports?

MissyBellesMissyBelles Posts: 44 ✭✭✭
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edited December 2022 in Grants & Scholarships

Hi! we are looking to possibly make some changes in our DAF policy and I am hoping you all could share your DAF policy with us! ☺️ We are especially interested in any policy with regards to the amount of activity in a daf, international grant requests via a US intermediary, DAF holders who request refunds, DAF holders requesting grant reports - any dollar amount limits, your fee structure with regards to daf grantmaking.

Thank you so much!

Missy Belles

Gifts & Grants Administrator

Whatcom Community Foundation



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    LaurelShulmanLaurelShulman Posts: 75 ✭✭✭
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    Triangle Community Foundation articulated a fund activity requirement (in alignment with our National Standards certification process) as part of our overall DAF policy after realizing that we had some funds with no grantmaking activity for too long than we'd like to admit. Below are a few excepts from that policy. Generally speaking, the expectation is that the donor makes a grant at least once a year. If they do not, we have a coordinated plan of outreach that includes, emailing, phone calls, and then certified mail. If we are unsuccessful in reaching the donor after multiple years of attempts, the Board has granted staff the authority to make a grant on behalf of the donor and in alignment with their charitable intent. We have a rubric for that, based on whether the fund is endowed or not, and the total size of the fund.

    Let me be super clear that the overall goal for us was to reengage our more dormant fundholders, and through repeating this annual process since 2018, we've reactivated over $13M charitable assets!! It has been an incredible conversation starter for donors that have been out of touch for years and a great tool to set the ceiling for fund activity when orienting new donors who are partnering with us. (We have made 4 grants on behalf of our dormant fundholders since this policy began.)

    Happy to share more if you have questions! I hosted a conference session on this topic in early 2020 and like chatting about it :-)



    Fund Activity Policy

    Statement of Policy Purpose: Triangle Community Foundation achieves its mission primarily through active grantmaking from its component funds. For funds where grantmaking is initiated through recommendations by donors or other advisors, rather than through Staff-driven processes, the Foundation carefully oversees fund activity to ensure active grantmaking. 


    Exceptions to Annual Grantmaking: While the Foundation encourages grants from donor-advised funds at least annually to qualified charitable organizations, we recognize there may be circumstances which warrant a temporary hiatus in grantmaking. Examples include:

    1.     Design of a grantmaking strategy: 

    a.     Where a donor advisor refrains from grantmaking for a given period after opening a fund or after making a substantial contribution to design a grantmaking strategy to best meet community needs or philanthropic goals.

    b.     Where a donor advisor refrains from grantmaking for a given period in anticipation of a substantial contribution or to aggregate annual grants into a larger single grant for a specific purpose.

    2.     Specific Circumstances: Where a donor advisor refrains from recommending grants for a given period due to or in consideration of special circumstances, while having the intention to recommend grants upon a change in such circumstances. Examples may include:

    a.     Donor is incapacitated with no successor advisor(s) named so the community foundations waits until the donor’s death to distribute the fund according to the donor’s original intent;

    b.     Fund has transitioned to named successor advisors who are minors and no adult representative is named to represent them (so grants resume when successor advisors are adults);

    c.     Founders of fund who are also the donor advisors are separated and divorcing so that grants are suspended until both husband and wife agree on grants, which may include splitting the fund into separate funds, or spending and retiring the fund;

    d.     Grants are suspended during litigation involving a fund;

    e.     Donor leaves a bequest to a fund, but the estate is not fully settled.


    Actions to Activate Grantmaking

    Should grant activity stop for more than a 2-year period, Staff will notify the donor advisor regularly and periodically. Should grant activity stop for more than a 3-year period, Staff may distribute grants from the fund to qualified grant recipients that align with donor intent. 

    If the Foundation determines such intent is obsolete, incapable of being fulfilled, impractical, or inconsistent with the community’s charitable needs, then exercise of the Triangle Community Foundation overriding variance power to enable the Foundation to continue to use its resources to meet the needs of the community and to address the charitable purposes for which the funds were committed. 

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    MissyBellesMissyBelles Posts: 44 ✭✭✭
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    edited April 2021

    Thank you so much Laurel ! @LaurelShulman This information is super helpful for our planned revision of our daf policy. We are looking for some sharing in other areas with regards to international grantmaking (via US intermediary) and grant report requests from daf holders - but this might be less common among community foundations.

    I hope you have a super day!


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    KarenWolfKarenWolf Posts: 62 ✭✭✭
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    We just received our approval from National Standards Accreditation. The process included an update to our DAF Policy, Fund Activity for DAFs and a succession plan form. I was not heavily involved with the policy creation but I did work through and created the succession plan form. I do know a good majority of the policies are based on the templates from National Standards. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Karen Wolf

    Operations Coordinator

    Email karen@cfcwi.org

    Web www.cfcwi.org

    Facebook www.facebook.com/cfcwi

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    MissyBellesMissyBelles Posts: 44 ✭✭✭
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    Thank you @KarenWolf !!

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