CAF is one of the UK's biggest managers of donor advised giving. We are delighted to launch our third report, looking at how donor advised funds (DAFs) and charitable trusts in the UK have grown in recent years. 

We're proud to have pioneered this way to give in the UK. Our donors make a tremendous difference to myriad causes and build strong relationships with charities that go far beyond the donation of money.

Download the Philanthropy Comes of Age report to find out more about the vibrant future of donor advised giving and its potential to build support for charities and causes long into the future.



Key findings

  • Donor advised giving within the UK continues to grow year on year. These tax-effective structures offer flexibility and simpler administrative, fiduciary and reporting requirements
  • Contributions into DAFs reached a new high of over £575.4 million in 2017/18, having grown by 10% since the previous year
  • Grants made from donor advised giving funds to charities grew to over £360 million in 2017/18
  • Charitable assets under management continues to exceed £1.5 billion, with a with a 17% increase from 2016/17


  • Advisors to the wealthy should increase their engagement with donor advised giving as a vehicle to help their clients reach the causes they care about and affect real and lasting change.
  • Professional advisers are probably aware of the estimated $30tn transfer of wealth in the next few decades from the baby boomer generation to their children and grandchildren. Millennials and Generation Z are widely acknowledged as making values-based decisions in all areas of their life, so advisors should seize the opportunity to make philanthropy part of the discussion.
  • Providers of donor advised structures should consider widening their offering to include responsible investing, impact investing and social investment as well as grants. The demand from donors for alternative ways of achieving impact are likely to increase further.
  • Providers should monitor the amounts being paid out in grants from the accounts they manage. They should work with their donors to shape compelling opportunities to give.
  • Donors should look to work with providers to help them better manage risk in their philanthropy and social investment, particularly when supporting organisations in difficult parts of the world like war zones. This area can be very complex and verification services can provide reassurance and protection for today’s donors and social investors.

Over the past five years, donor advised giving in the UK has experienced remarkable growth. Much of the reason for this growth is that these structures provide an easy, flexible and effective way to give.

Mark Greer, Managing Director of Philanthropy Services CAF