Benefunder Offers Philanthropic Marketplace Through American Endowment Foundation

November 3, 2016 - Benefunder, an organization that enables wealth advisors to offer clients a new solution for high-impact philanthropy by partnering with donor advised funds (DAFs), announced that its unique marketplace of philanthropic opportunities will be made available to advisors and their clients through the American Endowment Foundation (AEF), the nation’s largest independent sponsor of DAFs.

Benefunder offers a highly efficient approach for targeted, high-impact giving to a broad range of initiatives in research and innovation by donors working with advisors. Through Benefunder, donors can gain access to the best and brightest minds in whatever category interests them, with ongoing engagement with the researchers and their work.

New Strategic Initiative Focused on Broadening Access to Platform

The relationship with the AEF is the first step in a new strategic initiative by Benefunder to broaden access among advisors and donors to its platform via DAFs offered by leading wealth management firms.

“We are very pleased to be working with AEF, which is distinguished nationwide for its dedication to fostering the growth of family philanthropy in the U.S.,” said Christian Braemer, Benefunder Chief Executive Officer. “Benefunder will become the philanthropic specialist to AEF’s network of financial advisors, with our unique marketplace and expertise helping advisors broaden their clients’ access to attractive philanthropic opportunities and make their giving far more efficient and engaging.

“With AEF’s support, we are looking forward to introducing the Benefunder platform to an even broader universe of donors as well as advisors seeking a flexible, easily implemented approach for impactful client philanthropy,” he said.

Founded in 1993, AEF currently administers approximately $1 billion in its donor advised funds. In addition to enabling donors to more efficiently target their giving to causes especially meaningful to them, AEF empowers advisors to reinforce client relationships by allowing advisors to manage all charitable assets on their preferred platform, and represents a means for encouraging the next generation to retain the advisor’s support in sustaining the giving strategy longer-term.

According to research by U.S. Trust, 98 percent of high net worth individuals are philanthropic, with “believing the gift can make a difference” their strongest motivation. “More and more, clients are seeking to translate their ‘success into significance,’” said Peter McCrea, Vice President of Development at AEF. “They want to use their wealth to advance causes they feel passionate about and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the recipients of their giving, in order to actually facilitate and see progress and impact.

“AEF and Benefunder will help advisors powerfully address this desire, with an approach for giving that supports tangible solutions for the client’s most deeply-felt concerns. AEF assures financial advisors an indispensable, ongoing asset management role – a role that deepens the relationship between advisor and client, and ultimately the client’s entire family,” he said.

Solving the “Donor Problem”

Over half of all wealth creation since World War II can trace its roots back to a research grant, yielding such fundamental innovations as the Internet, lasers, gene sequencing, and countless medical advances. Though funding research importantly generates vital breakthroughs addressing a broad range of societal problems, identifying and supporting the best research opportunities can be expensive and time consuming. Also, publicly funded research has been stagnant for more than a decade, and less than four percent of the approximately $358 billion in annual U.S. philanthropy goes to support research.

Benefunder seeks to reduce this deficit with a scalable channel for directing more philanthropic dollars to research, with the goal of helping to generate more innovation as well as empowering advisors with a valued service and providing donors a new, smarter way to support their passions.

More than 650 researchers from top institutions nationwide, including seven of the eight Ivy League universities and the nation’s top medical and technological schools, are represented on the Benefunder platform, focusing on research and innovation in life science, new technology, the environment, and the arts and humanities. The programs reflect all stages of research and innovation, including proof of concept, pre-commercialization, clinical trials, and on-campus incubators and accelerators.

About Benefunder

Benefunder is a unique funding channel for research and innovation, providing financial advisors with a better solution for targeted philanthropy and donors with a smarter and more meaningful way to give. Benefunder is the U.S.’s largest donor platform for active research, offering the opportunity to directly support more than 650 top researchers working toward breakthrough treatments and solutions that will greatly impact and benefit society. For more information, please visit www.benefunder.com.

About American Endowment Foundation

American Endowment Foundation (AEF), a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 1993, is the largest independent administrator of donor advised funds (DAFs) in the U.S. AEF’s mission is to expand the capacity of American philanthropy. AEF does not manage or custody any assets. As a neutral, independent charitable administrator, AEF focuses on serving the charitable interests of its individual donors and their trusted advisors.