Blog Post

The 4 Best Donor-Advised Fund Software in 2023

Published December 23, 2022 | by Resty | 4 mins read
best donor advised fund softwares in 2023

There are many options if you’re looking for the best donor-advised fund software. 

You can undoubtedly look at every single one of them, but it’s not necessary. The top donor-advised funds offer the same basic functionality. The choice comes down to which provider is really in service to the nonprofits donors want to support, offering the service, convenience, and flexibility the company and its donors require. 

DAFs are no longer just a tool for the uber-wealthy. Individuals can use them as well. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a corporate giving platform.

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) provide a simple solution to support tax-deductible contributions. They are similar to a charitable foundation without the fuss. In fact, one of the best things about DAFs is how much of the money goes to work for nonprofits. 

Although foundations beat DAFs hands-down with 900% more in assets, DAFs comprise 42% of the giving. In addition to being more cost-efficient, DAFs don’t require public disclosures like foundations.

How to compare donor-advised fund software

As mentioned, many of the features and benefits are the same when you’re comparing the top contenders. Most donors will be concerned with fees and minimums that allow them to maximize their charitable contributions. In this article, we’ll compare Groundswell, Greater Horizons, Schwab Charitable and Vanguard Charitable. 

The four best DAF software compared

1. Groundswell

Fees: Donors pay no annual fee.

Minimums

  • Account minimum: $0
  • Contribution minimum: $1, the lowest in the industry
  • Grant minimum: N/A

Value Proposition

Groundswell is the affordable option with no fees and a $1 minimum contribution amount. It offers a superior user experience in a mobile technology platform.

2. Greater Horizons

Fees: Greater Horizons has a $500 minimum annual fee and is tiered according to the balance but pricing is not available online.

Minimums

  • Account minimum: $0
  • Contribution minimum: $0
  • Grant minimum: $0

Value Proposition

Greater Horizons is a good option for those who don’t want the constraints of minimums. However, the signup process is largely manual. 

3. Schwab Charitable

Fees: Schwab has a $100 minimum annual fee and is tiered according to the balance. Fees are the second cheapest for accounts under $25,000.

Minimums

  • Account minimum: $0
  • Contribution minimum: $0
  • Grant minimum: $50

Value Proposition

Schwab offers an easy signup process but you’ll need a Schwab brokerage account and the DAF has limited customer service hours. 

4. Vanguard Charitable

Fees: Vanguard has a $250 minimum annual fee and is tiered according to the balance. Fees are the second cheapest for large accounts. 

Minimums

  • Account minimum: $0
  • Contribution minimum: $5000
  • Grant minimum: $500

Value Proposition

Although Vanguard has lower fees than some, the minimum contribution amount is one of the highest. 

Why Groundswell is the Obvious Choice

As mentioned, the main reason DAFs are so popular is that they offer tax advantages. Much like a retirement account, DAF account funds can be invested in appreciable assets and these investments grow tax-free. Donors, themselves, can donate non-cash assets, both privately and publicly held, for the full cash value without having to pay capital gains taxes. So, the donor gets a tax break and once they decide to disburse the funds to a non-profit, there may be more money to give. DAFs used to be available only to the wealthy and were sometimes exploited to pass wealth on to future generations without tax implications. 

The biggest advantage to the Groundswell option is its affordability and accessibility. Groundswell democratizes DAFs for all. With Groundswell, every employee can have a donor-advised fund. In addition to boasting the lowest operating costs, Groundswell is doing a few other things differently. The Groundswell philanthropy-as-a-service platform decentralized the process, making it easy for employees to

  • Donate whenever and wherever they choose
  • Make affordable contributions
  • Allocate a portion of their payroll into their donor-advised fund
  • Take advantage of corporate matching opportunities

Groundswell puts it all in a mobile-first app available on iOS and Android. It’s even easier for companies. They can include DAF contributions as a component of their overall compensation packages. Employee donations are safe, secure, and confidential. 

With Groundswell, your employees can be assured that what’s important to them is important to you. Like to know more? Contact Groundswell today.

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