DAFs: Potentially more Good than Harm

Ian Murray, Hang Wu Tang

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle in specialist publication


D AFs have been under the spotlight with some calling them a form of ‘zombie’ philanthropy. The main criticisms are rehearsed in the preceding article by Ray Madoff. However, these criticisms obscure the fact that DAFs also bring a number of benefits. Establishing a DAF is administratively simpler and less costly than establishing a private foundation. Because multiple DAFs can be aggregated under a sponsoring organisation, there are potential benefits of scale and build-up of administrative expertise. This can reduce transaction costs for converting non-cash assets into cash and make compliance action easier for regulators who need only deal with the sponsoring organisations. Accordingly, we believe that DAFs, with proper regulatory oversight, have the potential to do good in the Asia-Pacific region where there are so many underfunded needs. In Asia, DAFs exist across the region, often under the auspices of community foundations,
including in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. The Gates
Foundation has funded the formation of Asia Community Foundation which, from September 2023, will encourage crossborder giving in Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationAlliance Magazine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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