Date of Graduation

Summer 8-7-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


School of Management

First Advisor

Marco Tavanti


Philanthropy is constantly evolving, and some traditional philanthropic institutions may need to rethink their strategies to attract the next generation of donors. The younger generation of donors tends to value the broader concept of social impact through many aspects of their lives, rather than traditional philanthropy alone. One trendy giving vehicle, with extensive growth in the last few years, is donor-advised funds (DAFs). This research is an analysis of California-based community foundations and their approaches to working with DAF donors. DAFs are a popular subject today in the nonprofit world, but in fact, they were originally established in the 1930s by community foundations. The DAF landscape has changed, particularly in the last thirty years, with new competition and evolving technology, which has changed the nature of donor engagement and stewardship. While the majority of growth has been seen in the commercial sector, it is important to understand how this changing landscape impacts community foundations. Every community foundation has different strategies and goals and emphasizing DAFs may or may not be a priority. By analyzing the websites of different community foundations and scoring them on efficiency and effectiveness indicators, the different approaches become clear. This research may indicate which type of community foundation is best prepared for the future of philanthropy, and show those falling short how they might pivot to stay relevant.