When you work at a community foundation, there are two things you can always guarantee in December. Finance and fund administration gets busy with year-end giving, and communications gets busy with reporters calling to ask about year-end giving.
We don't mind either problem. Last year, a busy December led to a record year for donations to our Donor Advised Funds, which means likely another record year for donations to the community in 2013-14. And the year-end giving stories are appearing as well. One of them, titled "Where Charity Goes to Wait", focused on the donor advised funds being operated by large, otherwise for profit investment firms like Fidelity and Schwab, and ran in the Boston Globe Ideas section right after Thansgiving. It posited that billions of dollars invested in donor advised funds each year were sitting on the sidelines when they would have otherwise gone to nonprofits.
It's not an argument with which we concur, but it did raise interesting points about donor advised funds, and the difference between those funds at a foundation like TBF and elsewhere.