Donor-Advised Funds and Nonprofits Collaborate on a Widget to Simplify Charitable Giving

Tim Goral's picture
Thursday, April 18, 2013

A collaboration between donor-advised fund sponsors and nonprofit organizations, led by Fidelity Charitable, has created a new web application (widget) that helps nonprofit organizations simplify charitable giving and tap into the growing popularity of donor-advised funds (DAFs). The DAF Direct widget is the first technology that enables donors to initiate a grant recommendation from their charitable account with their donor-advised fund sponsor while on a nonprofit’s website.

Throughout the development of the DAF Direct widget, 10 nonprofit organizations and other sponsors of donor-advised funds worked with Fidelity Charitable®, an independent public charity with a donor-advised fund program, to develop the concept and improve the technology. As a result of this collaboration, the widget is already connected to Schwab Charitable, in addition to Fidelity Charitable, and is in use on the websites of the 10 participating nonprofits: American Red Cross; Boston Symphony Orchestra; Charity Navigator; Cradles to Crayons; Feeding America; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Pan-Massachusetts Challenge; Save the Children; and WGBH.

Sarah Libbey, president of Fidelity Charitable, said, “Today’s donors are taking a more strategic approach to philanthropy and, at the same time, looking for simplicity and convenience in how, when and where they give. This has led to an increase in both online giving and the use of donor-advised funds. The DAF Direct widget connects these two movements to offer donors an additional and convenient giving option. It also allows nonprofits to provide a simple, seamless granting experience for the growing number of donors who use a donor-advised fund.”

Ken Berger, president and chief executive officer of Charity Navigator, said: "From years of feedback from our users and research in the field, we know that donors want tools to help them online that are quick and easy to access, easy to understand and free. They also prefer to have every dollar donated online going directly to the charity and not to transaction fees. The DAF Direct widget meets all these donor requirements. This is truly a gift to the philanthropic community and will assist us all in getting more help to the people and communities we care about."

Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of this initiative to link donors to two important online resources that help them connect with and support their favorite causes – nonprofit websites and their donor-advised fund accounts.” The widget is now available for all qualified nonprofits to add to their websites and there are plans to expand to other national and community foundation donor-advised fund sponsors to increase the reach and value of the technology for donors and nonprofits.

Nonprofits interested in adding the DAF Direct widget to their site can learn more at