NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Benefits and Costs of Donor Advised Funds

James Andreoni

NBER Working Paper No. 23872
Issued in October 2017
NBER Program(s):Public Economics

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are now a major source of charitable donations in the US, responsible for 1 in 10 dollars donated to charity in 2015. In 2016, Fidelity Charitable, whose only mission is to provide DAFS, became the largest charity in the US. Paradoxically, most people have never heard of DAFs or Fidelity Charitable. This leads us to ask, who uses DAFs and why, what is the impact of government tax policy toward DAFs, and could the extra fiscal cost of subsidizing DAFs be balanced out by an extra public gain of new charity resulting from tax policy toward DAFs?

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23872

Forthcoming: The Benefits and Costs of Donor Advised Funds, James Andreoni. in Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 32, Moffitt. 2017

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