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Recording DAF Intentions

  • 1.  Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 7 days ago
    We use Raiser's Edge. For those of you also using Raiser's Edge, what is your best practice for recording the amount and payment schedule of DAF intention? How do you count the full amount of those intentions in your YTD progress reports? Thanks!

    Liz Dixon-Eversole
    Director of Advancement Operations
    Milton Academy

  • 2.  RE: Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 7 days ago
    My RE clients fall into two camps on this: One camp records these as pledges (either from the DAF itself, or from the donor-adviser), and then does the write-down shuffle when the money comes in. These clients do this specifically because they count these intentions fully, and treating them as pledges makes the reporting easier.

    The other camp use proposals/opportunities to track this information, and for YTD progress reports some orgs use the % chance to assign them an expected value. They are typically broken out as their own line item. 

    In practice, my feeling is that if you intend to count them fully, you should have a commensurately larger reserve against bad pledges/intentions. I tend to prefer counting them fully, because otherwise you're giving gift officers less credit for securing these kinds of gifts, simply because of the mechanism of the gift. That doesn't create good incentives, and it doesn't give more insight into how Advancement is actually doing. 

    Thank you,
    Isaac Shalev
    CRM Expert
    Sage70, Inc.
    (917) 859-0151

    Schedule a 30-minute consultation now:

  • 3.  RE: Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 6 days ago

    Marquette University is investigating the feasibility of offering hosted alumni email addresses. Has your institution implemented alumni email addresses? If so, we have a few questions:  


    ·        Does your university use a third-party supplier to host, manage, and maintain the security of your alumni email addresses? If so, please describe which supplier you use and your overall satisfaction in terms of implementation experience and ongoing support.  Would you recommend this supplier?  


    ·        If a third-party is not used, does your university self-host alumni email addresses? Please describe your email address setup and management (Microsoft 365 vs on-prem deployment, provisioning methods or products, etc.) as well as any security measures implemented to protect alumni accounts. 


    ·        If you procured consulting to implement alumni email addresses from either a third-party or self-hosted, which consulting supplier did you use? Would you recommend this consulting supplier? 


    ·        What is the process for assigning alumni email addresses (immediately upon graduation, by request, or another trigger)? 


    ·        What benefits have you experienced with alumni email addresses? 


    ·        What challenges have you experienced with alumni email addresses? 





    Missy Lind Egelhoff

    Senior Director, Advancement Information Services

    T: 414.288.6774 | M: 414.699.8131 | E:

  • 4.  RE: Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 5 days ago
    Thanks, Isaac! This makes perfect sense. We count our DAF intentions fully. I appreciate the reply.

    Liz Dixon-Eversole
    pronouns: she/her/hers
    Director of the Milton Fund &
    Advancement Operations
    Milton Academy
    170 Centre Street
    Milton, MA  02186
    (w) 617.898.2374

  • 5.  RE: Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 5 days ago
    We have developed a separate Statement of Intention to Give form for DAFs based on some language from other institutions and from Schwab and Fidelity. It is not a legally binding pledge. We will record the pledge in our database (Raiser's Edge) and note via gift subtype that it is a DAF. Our Finance Department will not book these pledges. These would count as new commitments in the year the document is signed. Note that if the pledge is current use, we will only show the pledge amount expected in the current fiscal year. We will book future year unrestricted pledges, not as installments, but as future year pledges so that our expected revenue for the current year is not impacted.

    Our document was developed modeled after one from George Washington University. To give credit where credit is due, this was shared by Gail Ferris, AVP for Advancement Administration and Compliance at GWU who previously worked at Georgetown, American University, and at Yale. He is past president of both the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP) and CASE Summer Institute for Advancement Services. Our document was also reviewed and accepted by our legal department.

    I found and adapted the following suggested language on the Fidelity Charitable website: 
    I/We intend to recommend a grant from the (Donor Name) Fund, a donor-advised fund, in the amount of $xx,000 to be payable according to the following schedule. Grant recommendations are subject to the approval of ______ Charitable. This expression of intent does not create a legally enforceable obligation.

    See page 13 of this Schwab document: Q: Can I recommend a grant to satisfy a pledge I've made? A: Per the IRS, donor-advised funds can't be used to satisfy a legally binding pledge or agreement between an individual and a charity...You may, however, recommend a grant to satisfy a nonbinding pledge. 

    I have seen a few places online where it hints that the IRS has relaxed this rule - such as this section of this page on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website:
    This suggests that the rules change in late 2017, but I can't find anything on the IRS website to substantiate this.

    The first page of this Schwab document explains why the DAF cannot be used to pay a pledge (in case you want more info).

    Kind Regards,
    Serena Livingston
    Recording Secretary
    Director of Gift Administration
     401 454-6325 |

    P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

  • 6.  RE: Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 5 days ago
    The IRS has not "relaxed" the rule.  They have, in that notice, offered a way to record DAF gifts as payment on pledges - but only when three strict criteria are met.  However, even with that notice (which has not become a regulation), if the DAF states you cannot use their gifts in such a manner, you cannot use their gifts in such a manner!  Regardless of whether those three conditions are met.

    I will cover this topic in detail on March 10 when I conduct the aasp Annual IRS Update webinar.


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 7.  RE: Recording DAF Intentions

    Posted 5 days ago
    Thanks, Serena. This makes sense to me.

    One follow up question, when you say you book current use pledges to future years, are you literally using a gift date in the future? And if so, are your auditors OK with that?


    Liz Dixon-Eversole
    pronouns: she/her/hers
    Director of the Milton Fund &
    Advancement Operations
    Milton Academy
    170 Centre Street
    Milton, MA  02186
    (w) 617.898.2374