Barclays Global Investors (BGI) today launched a donor-advised fund that allows clients to invest their charitable contributions in at least 25 iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

BGI, the world's largest ETF provider, is partnering on its iShares Charitable Giving Program with National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), an independent public charity that raises funds and has made more than 34,000 grants to various U.S. and international charities. NPT has become a leader in customized donor-advised fund programs.

The iShares donor-advised fund accepts many kinds of contributions, including real estate, restricted stock, and bequests, and can make grants directly to qualified international charities. Donors may customize their investment allocation across at least 25 different iShares ETFs. Investors with contributions that exceed $5 million may diversify their assets across all iShares products.

Donor-advised funds provide donors with an immediate tax deduction for their contributions while allowing them to recommend grants to their favorite charities. The funds reportedly are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States, with more than $27.7 billion in assets and more than 122,500 account holders.

The funds have become more popular over the last decade, in large part because financial advisors have recommended them to clients, BGI says.