BOSTON, January 28, 2014 – Outgoing grants from Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity with a donor advised fund program, to nonprofits reached record levels in 2013. In all, Fidelity Charitable made more than 518,000 grants on behalf of its donors totaling nearly $2.1 billion, a 29 percent increase over the $1.6 billion granted in 2012.
In 2013, the average grant size rose 6 percent to more than $4,000. The figure was boosted in part by a 47 percent increase in the number of grants sized $1 million or more.
Donors continued to use their charitable accounts to support a wide range of charitable organizations and to take an organized approach to their giving. Grants were recommended to more than 80,000 charities across all 50 states; human services, religion and education ranked among the top sectors by grant volume and dollars. One in five outgoing grant recommendations was scheduled—meaning the grant was recommended in advance and/or on a scheduled, recurring basis by the donor.
“It’s gratifying to see our donors actively support nonprofits throughout the year as they use their charitable accounts to both implement their giving plan and respond to appeals,” said Sarah Libbey, president of Fidelity Charitable. “We’re also happy to see more nonprofits are recognizing donor-advised fund donors in their appeals as they are exactly the type of active, committed givers nonprofits want to attract and retain.”
Donors contributed $3.6 billion to Fidelity Charitable in 2013, which was on par with contributions in 2012. One difference in 2013 was the percentage of contributions that came in the form of publicly traded and non-publicly traded appreciated assets, like stocks, mutual funds and other capital assets. In all, appreciated assets accounted for 62 percent of all contributions, up from 54 percent in 2012. Complex assets, such as private business interests and other non-publicly traded assets, played a bigger role in how donors funded their philanthropy, accounting for 17 percent of contributions, up from 11 percent in 2012.
The year also saw a 20 percent increase in the number of new donor-advised funds established. The median size of these new accounts was about $13,000.
“Gains in the stock market and new tax rules introduced last year prompted donors and their advisors to closely consider how to best fund philanthropy,” said Libbey. “This strategic thinking often results in more money for the causes donors support. By donating the right asset at the right time, donors can maximize the dollars available for charity. A donor-advised fund simplifies the contribution process because donors only need to make one financial contribution transaction and are then able to support multiple charities.”
Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 170,000 nonprofit organizations with over $16 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable launched the first national donor-advised fund program. The mission of the organization is to further the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving simple and effective.