April 9, 2013; Source:Fort Mill Times

Donor-advised funds are a hot topic NPQ has covered many times, and they have been increasing in popularity—tripling contributions in the last quarter of 2012. The independent public charity Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with nonprofits to create a new application for websites that will make it even easier for donors to use their DAFs for quick contributions to nonprofits through this online mechanism.

The new DAF widget, already in use by Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable, allows a user to start a grant recommendation with their donor-advised fund sponsor with a single click while on a nonprofit’s web site. Ten nonprofits (American Red Cross; Boston Symphony Orchestra; Charity Navigator; Cradles to Crayons; Feeding America; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Museum of Fine Arts; Boston; Pan-Massachusetts Challenge; Save the Children; and WGBH) worked with Fidelity Charitable to develop the web app, and are featuring the new widget on their websites.

Sarah Libbey, president of Fidelity Charitable, was quoted saying, “Today’s donors are taking a more strategic approach to philanthropy and, at the same time, looking for simplicity and convenience in how, when, and where they give. This has led to an increase in both online giving and the use of donor-advised funds. The DAF Direct widget connects these two movements to offer donors an additional and convenient giving option. It also allows nonprofits to provide a simple, seamless granting experience for the growing number of donors who use a donor-advised fund.”

The DAF widget will be available for any nonprofit to include on their site, and Fidelity Charitable plans to extend their reach to national and community foundation donor-advised fund sponsors. This technological advance should allow donors to stay better connected with their favorite nonprofits and causes, as well as attract more individuals in the philanthropic community to donor-advised funds.—Aine Creedon