Always Making Progress for Liberty

DonorsTrust exists to ensure a steady flow of philanthropic capital into the liberty movement as well as to the myriad of organizations bringing private solutions to bear on social problems. Some progressives view is as nefarious, even as they aggressively seek to expand their network of similar institutions. We – and our clients – merely view the DonorsTrust model as a practical (and principled) way to manage charitable giving.

We’ve just released our latest progress report for our work in 2017. We call it a progress report rather than an annual report because the work of liberty is a continuing, ongoing project. We take stock of where we are only to remember the work left before us.

In the report, you can see details of the steady flow of philanthropic capital into those organizations directly or indirectly advancing the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.

Our clients are the heart of DonorsTrust, as they are driving the change that we value. In 2017, they recommended more than $100 million from their accounts to support private charitable efforts. In a bit of an anomaly, they actually recommended more grants out than they put in over the course of 2017, suggesting a number of donors saw unique opportunities in the 2017 charitable landscape that led them to drawn from charitable capital saved up over previous years.

Inside the report, you can survey a sampling of the groups supported by DonorsTrust in the arts, education, civic circles, religion, health, and public policy. We sent contributions to 584 individual non-profits, of which75% were loosely categorized in the public policy sphere. That is a lower percentage than in previous years and suggests our clients are broadening the use of their donor-advised fund accounts.

If you’ve been considering a donor-advised fund, you’ll want to pay particular attention to what our clients specifically say about how DonorsTrust helps them achieve their charitable goals. We are proud not only to be a unique tool for those with whom we work, but also to act as a full-service partner.

In his president’s note in the report, Lawson Bader stresses this point:

Donors deserve to have their wishes honored and to have a partner in their philanthropy that shares a common set of beliefs and principles. Likewise, they should have a process that is simple and focused on the action of giving. And they should have a reliable team with whom they can personally engage to develop a plan that meets their specific giving interests. We are proud to be that partner for so many.

To download your copy of the 2017 DonorsTrust Progress Report, click here. You can also request we mail you a hard copy from that page.



  • Peter Lipsett

    Peter Lipsett is vice president at DonorsTrust. He also leads DonorsTrust’s Novus Society, a network of donors under 40 committed to growing their philanthropic know-how. He has a dual degree in political science and theater from Davidson College and finally got a practical credential with an MBA from George Mason University.

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