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#HalfMyDAF Challenge: Why Nonprofits Need Your Support Now More Than Ever

Guest author Lisa Pilar Cowan is the Vice President of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and co-founder of the College Opportunity Fund - a Donor Advised Fund at Brooklyn Community Foundation. 

I don’t need to tell you that we are at an unprecedented moment in our lives, our country, our city, and our borough. The twin ravages of COVID-19 and racism are on full display, and both the immediate demands and need for systemic change are intense.

There is so much pain and so much possibility around us. For those of us who have been saving for a rainy day, we don’t need to look out the window to know that it is pouring.

Please consider joining me and the College Opportunity Fund DAF in taking the #HalfMyDAF challenge. Over $120 billion dollars are sitting in Donor Advised Funds, with no standards around when they are spent. At the same time, nonprofits need our help more than ever. To me it seems that right now is the moment we can make the biggest difference.

Many of you likely have multi-year plans for your giving. But a larger single-year gift is likely even more valuable to your nonprofit partners right now. This is a moment your partners need your support, likely more than ever. Giving now requires a degree of trust between you and the nonprofits you support. And if we don't support them now, many nonprofits won’t be around in three years.

Some people have pointed out that committing to halving your DAF necessarily means having less money for giving in the future. True enough—but maybe we can make some change now that will ameliorate need in the future. And maybe more to the point, giving big can be really satisfying and even transformational for you and the organizations you support. It gives you the chance to understand more deeply how nonprofits work and what they need to have impact. 

Some of our giving colleagues have created the #HalfMyDAF challenge so that your donations go even further: the nonprofit of your choice has the potential for a $10,000 matching grant. Take a look at the instructions at

This is our moment to make a difference. 


[Header Image: The Campaign Against Hunger]

About Donor Advised Funds at Brooklyn Community Foundation:

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable investment account through which your assets have the potential to grow tax-free. Created with a single tax-deductible donation of cash, stock, or real estate, you can name your fund and give at your own pace—we manage the rest. By opening a Donor Advised Fund at Brooklyn Community Foundation, you can support the charities you care about in Brooklyn, or any domestic nonprofit of your choice. Establishing a Fund is easy and can be set up in less than a week. 


Contact Donor Services to learn more:

Damaris Dias, Manager of Donor Services
T: 718.480.7507

Donor Advised Funds

Lisa Cowan

Fund Adviser, The College Opportunity Fund
For those of us who have been saving for a rainy day, we don’t need to look out the window to know that it is pouring.