Mobilizing Donor-Advised Funds Towards Impact Investments

SOCAP Global September 29, 2020

Donor-Advised funds (DAFs) represent a significant and growing pool of capital, now totaling $120B. However, approximately 80% of DAF assets are still invested passively and do not immediately fulfill their charitable purpose. In the wake of unprecedented economic fallout from COVID-19 and racial justice protests across the country, there has never been a more urgent need to re-examine the role DAF capital can play in supporting local communities in need. Impact investing has increasingly been lifted up as a promising means to drive social progress through DAFs sustainably and at scale, yet a variety of preconceptions among donors and sponsors still limit widespread flow of DAF capital into impact investments.

During this panel, Social Finance will share insights from new research conducted to understand the size of donor demand for “impact-first investments” and the associated donor psychology, drawing on results from its survey of DAF donors, the largest one run nationwide to date. Representatives from three major DAF sponsor organizations (Fidelity Charitable, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund) will share best practices and lessons learned from their experiences facilitating impact investments through DAFs.



Hemali Bhashyam, Associate Director, Social Finance

Susan Laidlaw, Director of Philanthropic Strategies, Private Donor Group, Fidelity Charitable

James Cutler, Senior Investment Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Bert Feuss, Former Senior Vice President, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Tanya Shadoan, Director of Philanthropy Operations & Impact Investing, Jewish Community Federation (San Francisco Bay Area)

Impact Investing
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