January 4, 2021

Donor-Advised Funds Continue to Grow in the UK

Author National Philanthropic Trust

Every year for the past five years, NPT UK has published the annual Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) Report. This year’s report examines data from 2015 to 2019 from UK charities that offer donor-advised funds. Importantly, the data does not include the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The findings in this year’s annual DAF Report confirm that DAFs continue to grow in the UK. Contributions into DAF accounts as well as grants from DAF accounts to charities in the UK and worldwide both show an increase over last year’s figures. The evidence tallies with our experience of working with private clients at NPT UK. An increasing number of philanthropic families are setting up donor-advised funds as an alternative to their own grant making charitable trust or foundation. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s DAF Report:

In 2019:

  • Contributions to donor-advised funds increased to £609 million, a 17 per cent increase compared with prior year’s contributions.
  • Charitable assets in donor-advised fund accounts total £1.7 billion—an increase of 11 per cent over the prior year.
  • The aggregate grant pay out rate from donor-advised funds was 31 per cent in 2019 versus 24 per cent in 2018.
  • Grants from donor-advised fund accounts to other charities were £479 million, an increase of 53 per cent over the prior year.

We are delighted to see such positive numbers relating to the use of DAFs by private clients, and very proud that NPT UK has helped contribute to these results. Since every pound in DAF accounts goes to charitable organisations, such increases are always good news. For private client advisors, we hope these figures will continue to encourage conversations with clients about why donor-advised funds can be the right vehicle to manage long -term philanthropic giving.

Download a copy of the Donor-Advised Fund Report here.

For more information about how NPT UK can support your clients’ philanthropy, please contact us.


John Canady, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust UK, has 25 years of experience working across the business, nonprofit and government sectors. He specializes in creating and managing philanthropic funds for donors and family offices around the world who wish to base their philanthropy from the UK.



NPT UK does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.

To download a copy of the Donor-Advised Fund Report, click below: