In 2007, the number of donor-advised funds jumped by more than 12 percent to over 122,500, outnumbering private foundations and charitable remainder trusts, a new study says.
Together, those funds held assets of $27.7 billion as of the end of 2007, an increase in value of 21 percent from 2006.
The average fund held $225,875 in assets, up 8 percent over the previous year.
Much of that growth is due to the efforts of professional advisors, says the report from the National Philanthropic Trust, a public charity that administers donor-advised funds.
Individual donors contribute about $8 billion to their funds each year, the study says, but that may slow down.
Given the severity of the current economic downturn, the Trust says, the outlook for donor-advised funds from 2008 to 2010 is uncertain.
The group is expecting lower donations in 2008 and 2009 and says individuals likely will not increase their giving again until the stock market has stabilized.