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Nonprofit University

Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States, allowing donors to support nonprofit organizations they love now or over time. This flexibility in how and when donors make charitable gifts has driven the explosive growth of DAF sponsors. The number of DAF sponsors has nearly quadrupled over the last 10 years, creating an urgency for fundraisers to better understand how DAFs impact their donor base and how to access the charitable dollars within them.

In this course, facilitator Brenda Johnson (Senior Director of Philanthropy, Year Up Greater Atlanta) will provide current and relevant information about DAFs and guidance for fundraisers in creating strategies to boost donations from DAFs as part of their overall portfolio.


At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain donor motivations for using DAFs as a vehicle of philanthropy.
  • Assess the landscape of community foundations, commercial and independent DAF sponsors
  • Create strategies to cultivate relationships with wealth advisors and financial professionals.
  • Describe legal requirements and restrictions relating to gifts from DAFs.


Seasoned development staff, development directors, major gift officers and solicitors at mid- to large-size organizations ($5M–10M) with an established record of success in securing major gifts from individual donors.


Brenda Johnson is a nonprofit development professional with a passion for connecting donors at every level to the causes they are passionate about.  Her areas of expertise include capital campaigns, data-driven fundraising strategies and donor database systems. Brenda held senior development positions at several national organizations addressing human rights, civil liberties and women and girls’ empowerment.  In her most recent role as Director of Philanthropy for the ACLU of Georgia, Brenda worked closely with national leadership to reinvigorate the affiliate by cultivating the support of lapsed donors statewide after a period of inactivity and executive transition.

Throughout her nonprofit career, Brenda saw nonprofits struggle to achieve the resource development capacity necessary to sustain and grow - and the resulting pressure experienced by fundraising staff. After working in the nonprofit sector for 9 years, Brenda began offering consulting services and trainings to help organizations improve their development efficiency using existing resources.

Brenda received a BS in Engineering from Purdue University, where she minored in Sociology and Political Science.  She has served as Director of Philanthropy for Rainbow Village, Manager for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Director of Development for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.


  • Coming Soon


9:30 am – 12:30 pm


Georgia Center for Nonprofits
Training Room
100 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta GA 30303
Get directions

Registration Details

Member: $150
Nonmember: $195

Questions? Contact the Nonprofit University team at at [email protected] or 678-916-3081.