#114 Daffy: Reinventing Charitable Giving and Building a Modern Platform for Giving | Adam Nash, Co-Founder & CEO

In Episode #114, we explore building a modern charitable giving platform. We’re joined by Adam Nash, Daffy’s Co-Founder and CEO, and we cover donor-advised funds, getting kids involved in charity, and philosophies on angel investing.
Last updated
August 17, 2022
Min Read
Daffy supports nearly 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S.
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About Daffy

Daffy, the Donor-Advised Fund for You| Twitter

“I think the center of solving problems with products and software is to just always remember that people are the heart of everything. You're solving a problem for a person.” – Adam Nash

Adam Nash is co-founder and CEO of Daffy, which is building a modern platform for giving, and in the process rethinking how we all give to the causes and charities we care about. Daffy has taken something typically only known and used by the ultra wealthy, the donor-advised fund, and made it available to anyone.

With a Daffy account, anyone can contribute cash, stock and even crypto, which is all tax deductible, and then give whatever amount they'd like to over 1.5 million charities on their platform. You can invest your contribution so that your donor-advised fund compounds in value, allowing you to give even more in the years to come, all with the goal of making giving easy and affordable enough that we can all make giving a part of our daily lives.

In this episode, we explore what Adam learned building eBay, LinkedIn, and Wealthfront and how he thinks about reshaping consumer behavior, like getting consumers to trust an algorithm, to invest their savings at Wealthfront. We talk about how the U.S. already gives 2.3% of GDP, contributing more than $400 billion to charities in 2020 alone, which is more than double major sectors like agriculture, which accounts for just 1% of GDP. We discuss why even 2.3% of GDP is too small, and how Adam is working to get that percentage up to 5% of GDP given annually through his work at Daffy. Finally, we cover everything you've ever wanted to know about giving, from how much to give to how to assess charities and how to get your kids involved in giving.

For more, explore the transcript of this episode.


This episode is our definitive guide to building a modern charitable giving platform. In it we cover:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:41 – From Apple to eBay, and from LinkedIn to Daffy
  • 00:05:01 – Technology asks, what have you done for me lately?
  • 00:10:53 – The hard part of being a contrarian is being wrong most of the time
  • 00:15:06 – Software goes beyond the products you build
  • 00:17:45 – Crossing the chasm
  • 00:22:56 – The basics of using Daffy
  • 00:28:03 – Overcoming customer perception of giving
  • 00:33:17 – What are donor-advised funds?
  • 00:41:38 – Choosing a charity in Daffy
  • 00:48:34 – Getting kids involved in charity
  • 00:51:53 – On Personal Finance for Engineers
  • 00:55:52 – Adam’s angel investing thesis
  • 01:02:07 – Lessons from Clayton Christensen

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Player FM, Podcast Addict, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Our Favorite Quotes

Here are a few ideas we'll be thinking about weeks and months from now:

  • “When you think about founding companies, not just as what you do for your own product and service, for your own customers, for your own employees, but what you could do for the industry, it is really inspiring—especially if you believe that it's only through action that we can change things. Building companies is one way that we change the market for everyone.”
  • “One of the interesting things about technology, it's both a gift and a curse in a way, is that technology is all about: what have you done for me lately? We take these unimaginable things for granted now.”
  • “You have to have some humility. The world is filled with lots of smart people who've looked at problems. And chances are the solutions that you're using today, every solution, every product, every service was someone's inspired moment.”
  • “The hard part of being a contrarian is you're going to be wrong most of the time.”
  • “For founders, keep in mind that most of your customers in the future are not ready for you yet, that there's a whole process of phasing. There's a reason why startups and venture funding comes in phases. You solve one problem at a time.”
  • “What we realize is that as generous as people are, they're not as generous as they want to be.”
  • “Whatever bar you have for yourself, there's something about working with great people—and that includes investing in them—and seeing what they can accomplish that makes you realize like no, I could do more.”

5 Ways to Dive Deeper

Books Mentioned

The following books came up in this conversation with Adam Nash:

Selected Links

We covered a lot of ground in this interview. Here are links to the stories, articles, and ideas discussed:

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