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Despite high market volatility, giving rose in 2022

Charitable giving is one of many tools donors rely on to express their passion for a specific cause and take meaningful action.

With stock market volatility, high inflation and concerns about a possible recession, you might think that charitable giving would be one of the first items to be cut from Americans’ financial budgets. But in the first three quarters of 2022, overall giving rose by 4.7% over the previous year.1 At Raymond James Charitable, we too felt an even greater increase in generosity, with a rise of 9% in the number of grant checks distributed through the recommendations of our donor advisors.

But why, in spite of high market turbulence and uncertainty, does giving and philanthropy continue to climb? As one of the fastest growing forms of giving in the United States, donor advised funds (DAFs) may be partly responsible for the steady growth in generosity in the face of market volatility.

Why leveraging a DAF in a volatile market is a strategic move

In spite of market volatility, what role are DAFs playing in the steady rise of charitable giving? Here are a few reasons to consider:

  • A sustained appetite to give and help – Even in times of economic uncertainty, the generosity of donors refuses to wane. In fact, as times get tougher for more people around the globe, the passion and drive donors have to help make a meaningful impact toward current issues grows. A DAF provides donors with a vehicle for enacting change quickly with reserved charitable dollars, even during tough markets.
  • A sense of security – Whether market conditions are favorable or not, DAFs consistently provide donors with a long-term sense of reassurance because funds are already earmarked for charity, ready to be distributed when you decide it’s the right moment. The level of charitable giving is pre-established, already set aside and easily maintained so that you can continue to deliver gifts as you wish.
  • Opportunities to diversify assets – Contributions to DAFs can be wide-ranging, from liquid options like cash to less liquid options, such as real estate. This opens the door to opportunities for donors to diversify their assets, especially during times of stock market uncertainty. A DAF provides the power to give the asset type that’s most beneficial to your situation.
  • Legacy building – Amid future uncertainty, DAFs can be used as a reliable and steadying force for donors looking to build a legacy. A tool that can be used to establish charitable giving for generations to come, DAFs enable donors to name heirs as successors, to continue making distributions to deserving charities. Donors can instead name charitable organizations to receive distributions from the DAF after their passing, either in a lump sum or as a percentage of assets. The latter option can essentially create a perpetual gift to the named charity(s), providing donors a lasting legacy well beyond their lifetime.


By collaborating with their financial advisor, donors have been able to make long-term plans for their philanthropy. Even when market uncertainty instills nervousness toward spending, the money earmarked for charitable giving that’s already waiting in a DAF means – no matter what’s happening in the big picture economically – you can continue to financially support the charities and causes that matter most to you without worry or interruption.

A lasting philanthropic legacy starts here

One of the greatest privileges of wealth is getting to support the people and causes that mean the most to you. Let’s make your philanthropic vision a reality.

Talk with your financial advisor today.


Donors are urged to consult their attorneys, accountants or tax advisors with respect to questions relating to the deductibility of various types of contributions to a donor advised fund for federal and state tax purposes.

To learn more about the potential risks and benefits of donor advised funds, please contact us.

Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

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