Spotlight on Donor Advised Funds

Wednesday, June 26, 08:45 AM - Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 04:00 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 08:45 AM - 04:00 PM
Virtual TrainingLive - Online
Fee: $99 Members / $199 Nonmembers

Donor advised them or hate them, there is no doubt that skyrocketing growth in this popular charitable giving vehicle has had a major impact with the passage of the 2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. To successfully fundraise in this new environment, nonprofits need to understand what donor advised funds (DAFs) are, how they work, and how to approach donors who've opened DAFs. They also need a keen understanding of the major sponsors of DAFs -- both national ones and local community foundations. Join MCN for this one-day online event to explore these topics and more.

This Spotlight is a one-day online event offering five interactive live online sessions, each exploring a different key to understanding DAFs and how they work. Each session will be led by an experienced nonprofit leader or consultant and is designed to offer practical information that can be applied immediately. Registrants can participate in the live sessions and will also be sent a link to a recording of each of the sessions after the event ends.

Spotlight Sessions

Exploring the DAF Landscape

Donor advised funds (DAFs) are the fastest growing form of charitable giving in the nation, and many nonprofit fundraisers are eager to learn more about what they are, how they work, and if they’re a viable source of charitable dollars for their nonprofit organization. Join this session for an overview of the basics on donor advised funds. We will cover everything from what a DAF is, how they work, who sponsors them, how they’re regulated, and who receives contributions from them. We’ll also explore DAF trends emerging on both the state and national levels. Participants will leave this session with a deepened understanding of DAFs and where to look for more information and continued learning.

ericjoransonThis session's speaker is Eric Joranson, Senior Director of Advanced Strategies for National Philanthropic Trust, a provider of donor-advised funds and other giving vehicles for individual donors, families and organizations with $7.3 billion in charitable assets currently under its management. Eric is a former practicing attorney with 13 years of combined experience in advanced charitable planning and law practice. He has extensive technical experience helping donors contribute complex and illiquid assets, such as privately held stock, real estate, private equity and hedge fund interests. Eric graduated cum laude from Hamline University School of Law in 2006.

Understanding DAF Donors

Session description will by posted by May 23. 

amy pirozzoloThe speaker will be Amy Pirozzolo, Vice President | Marketing, Fidelity Charitable. Amy has been head of marketing at Fidelity Charitable since 2013. Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 278,000 nonprofit organizations with nearly $35 billion in grants since its inception in 1991 and furthers the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving accessible, simple and effective. Experienced in both consumer and business-to-business marketing at brands across a variety of industries, Amy is responsible for leading all aspects of marketing for Fidelity Charitable, including driving awareness for donor-advised funds, fundraising support, donor and non-profit engagement strategy, and new program launches. Ms. Pirozzolo began at Fidelity Investments in 1994, where she's held a variety of marketing leadership positions with Fidelity Investments Workplace Investing Organization including experience in acquisition, client development/retention and product marketing.

Developing a DAF Fundraising Program

In this session, you will gain practical tips and tricks for working with your existing donors and your board members to access contributions from donor advised funds. Deepen your technical knowledge around internal tracking and receipting, the benefits of DAFs for your donors, how DAFs are used in planned giving and the donation of complex assets, IRS requirements, what to consider in crafting gift acceptance policies and gift instruments, and best practices.

danaholtThis session's speaker is Dana Holt, founder of HOLT Consulting. Dana is a charitable gift planning educator, coach, and professional speaker. She teaches fundraisers how to raise millions more by accessing wealth, not just cash, and teaches advisors how to grow their practice with the power of philanthropic planning. Before starting HOLT Consulting, Dana began her career as an estate planning attorney and then spent 13 years at a Fortune 300 Financial Services company. There she helped advisors all over the U.S. with their most complex cases and taught them how to integrate charitable planning into their practice. Now she focuses exclusively on teaching charitable planning through professional speaking and her coaching program, Turning Wealth Into What Matters. Dana is a graduate of Mitchell Hamline School of Law and Southern Illinois University.

Inside the DAF Sponsors: Community Foundations

Community foundations sponsor over one-third of all charitable dollars held in donor advised funds across the country and are often the most accessible sponsor in connecting donors to meaningful work in their communities. Join this session to hear firsthand from philanthropic services leaders at three of the largest DAF sponsors in Minnesota. Learn more about how each foundation works with their donors to do legacy planning and utilizes their community grants team to make grants from DAFs. You’ll also gain tips and tricks for better positioning your work to donors.

This session will feature a panel of representatives from three of the largest DAF sponsors in Minnesota: Kim Borton, InFaith Community Foundation; Stephanie Donley, The Minneapolis Foundation; Jeremy R. Wells, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations. The session will be moderated by Kari Aanestad, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Kari_AanestadKari Aanestad is codirector of and the director of advancement at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). In this role, Kari advances the mission and work of MCN and Minnesota’s nonprofit sector through strategic visioning, fundraising, relationship development, sector research, and education. She is also the Vice President of the Minnesota-Northstar Chapter of the Grant Professionals of America.

kimbortonKim Borton is the Vice President of Grants and Donor Services at the InFaith Community Foundation, which manages $430 million in invested assets and invests $28 million in grants annually through 5,000+ charitable funds. Kim leads the Foundation’s grantmaking programs, donor services, and organizational endowment partnerships. Prior to joining InFaith, Kim was the Director of Programs at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. She has also held positions with the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, YMCA, and Academy for Educational Development. She has a master of public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

stephdonleyStephanie (Steph) Donley is a Philanthropic Advisor at The Minneapolis Foundation where she serves as a charitable planning resource for attorneys, accountants and financial advisors to assist their clients in fulfilling their philanthropic goals and supports her donor families to achieve the greatest impact with their giving. Prior to joining the Foundation, Steph spent over 12 years in the financial services industry, most recently as a Trust Officer with U.S. Bank’s Private Client Group. She comes to the Foundation after having served 5 years with the Minneapolis Institute of Art as a Senior Major Gifts Officer working with donors who supported the museum at a major gifts level and those donors who included the museum in their estate plans. She has a law degree from Hamline University School of Law.

jeremywellsJeremy R. Wells is senior vice president of Philanthropic Services at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, Minnesota’s largest community foundation. In this role, Jeremy serves as the chief fundraising and donor stewardship strategist. He also staffs the Foundations’ board development and governance committees. Jeremy has spent his entire career working in philanthropy. Prior to his work at the Foundations, he served as the chief development officer at both Augsburg University and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He has a master’s degree in philanthropy & development and is a CFRE. Jeremy is an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas and is a frequently requested speaker and author on a variety of philanthropic topics, including development planning, utilizing volunteers, donor engagement, stewardship, ethics and charitable gift planning. In addition to his work, Jeremy serves on numerous local, regional and national boards.

Donor advised funds: Policy changes on the horizon?

Many have eyes on the $110 billion held in assets in donor-advised funds across the country, and yet very limited information is available to the public about DAFs – including who opens the accounts, how many accounts are inactive, or where the money goes. With very little regulation of donor-advised funds by the IRS, some in the nonprofit sector are raising strong concerns about the anonymity of DAFs, the potential risks for abuse (such as self-dealing and channeling funds, anonymously, to controversial causes), and the lack of incentive for actual payout from the funds. Join this session to hear from Al Cantor, a national thought leader on nonprofits and philanthropy, on the pros and cons of current DAF reform policy proposals meant to encourage greater transparency and use of charitable dollars for the public good.

alancantorThe speaker for this session will be Alan Cantor. Al is principal of Alan Cantor Consulting LLC, where he works with nonprofit organizations on issues of resource development, strategic planning, governance, and executive leadership. Prior to starting his consulting business in 2012, Al spent thirty years in the nonprofit sector as a CEO, planned and major gifts director, and director of development. In addition to his consulting work, Al is a prolific writer, presenter, and keynoter on issues relating to the nonprofit sector. He is a contributor to the opinion pages of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly, and Philanthropy Daily, and he has been cited by publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Barron’s, Atlantic Monthly, Bloomberg News, Pro Publica, and Vanity Fair. Al lives in Concord, New Hampshire.

Spotlight Schedule: All are in Central Time

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CT    

Exploring the DAF Landscape

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. CT 

Understanding DAF Donors

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. CT

Developing a DAF Fundraising Program

 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CT  

Inside the DAF Sponsors: Community Foundations

 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. CT

Donor advised funds: Ready for policy reform?

Technology details

This event is hosted in Adobe Connect. You will need a computer with a reliable high-speed internet connection. 

Audio is available via your computer or your phone; choose the audio connection that provides you with the best sound quality. Please note: Using your computer for audio can sometimes negatively affect your experience, particularly if your Wi-Fi signal is not strong or your broadband connection is slow. Therefore, we highly recommend that you have access to a phone which can serve as a back-up audio method during the event.

Information about how to log into this event will emailed to you at least two days before it begins. If you don’t receive this email, please first check your spam folder, then contact


Will the sessions be recorded? Yes, they will be recorded. However, because of the interactive nature of these sessions, which will include ongoing conversation via chat and polls, participants will get a lot more value out of these sessions if they participate in the live event and rely on the recordings for reviewing the content that was shared during the live session.

Can registrations be shared? To achieve the best possible learning outcomes during these sessions, each participant should have their registration for the event. Participants will be actively engaging with the trainer via chat and polls, and to do so, each needs to have their own keyboard, computer, and connection to the training.

Can I connect to this training with Adobe Connect's mobile app for phones and tablets? While Adobe Connect does have a mobile app, its functionality is limited and does not support all the engagement tools that we use during this training. We strongly suggest that you use a desktop or laptop computer rather than a phone or tablet to access Adobe Connect.

Check out these related events