Donating money to charities through donor-advised funds has become increasingly popular over the past decade. According to data from the National Philanthropic Trust's Donor Advised Fund Report, for the sixth consecutive year, there was growth in all key metrics: number of individual donor-advised funds, total grant dollars from them, total contributions to them, and total charitable assets in them. According to the report, overall assets as of the end of 2015 were nearly $79 billion. Contributions during the year totaled $22 billion, and total grants to charities during the year totaled $14.5 billion.
As you can infer from this data, not everyone disburses their charitable contribution right away. As of now, there is no set time frame during which you have to pay out the funds; the donation you make can sit in the donor-advised fund account indefinitely. In fact, you can pass the account along to your heirs.
Karen Wallace does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.