December 13, 2021

Giving as a Family: How Your Clients Can Use Their DAF for Family Philanthropy

Author John Canady, Chief Executive Officer

As advisors, your role in helping clients develop philanthropic initiatives for their families can be significant. For multi-generational families, a charitable giving initiative is often central to expressing the family’s approach to community engagement: giving back and helping others. As families come together for the holiday season, here’s how you can help your clients achieve more impact with their donor-advised fund (DAF):

Encourage families to develop a giving strategy: Your clients may wish to develop a family mission statement based on their values which articulates what change they want to effect through philanthropy. No matter how broad their philanthropic goals might be, encourage your clients to think about how they want to get involved as a family and what resources they wish to commit. This will play a critical role in keeping the family focused on their giving goals.

Help determine your clients’ decision-making structure: Your clients may decide to pursue collective giving in which all members reach consensus on grant recipients. Another option is to allocate the largest share of resources to causes all family members wish to support and divide up a smaller amount among individual family members to give to their particular interests. Some DAF donors choose to establish a ‘family council’ which meets regularly to make decisions about DAF investments and grant making. However your clients choose to make decisions, it’s important to be clear about the process.

Help your clients set up a succession plan: Talking about family legacy is important. Are there family members who would like to take a leadership role in the future? Will descendants continue with the same mission or pursue other causes? With a DAF, your clients can name multiple successor advisors to be designated as primary advisors on new DAF accounts funded with the charitable assets from the original DAF. Many families choose to set up multiple DAFs for different family members during their lifetime, too.

If you would like to discuss how NPT UK can help your clients manage their family 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.