Fidelity Charitable donors recommend over $236 million in grants to nonprofits for COVID-19 relief; just part of the $2.5 billion granted so far this year

Total grants so far in 2020 increase 18% from this time last year, surpassing $2.5 billion

Human Services and Society Benefit charities received most from the COVID-19 relief grants, with 68% and 37% higher grant volumes respectively

Challenges continue for charities whose fundraising and services are threatened by the crisis

BOSTON, May 6, 2020 Fidelity Charitable today announced that its donors have recommended more than $2.5 billion in grants from their donor-advised fund accounts so far this year, with over $236 million of that designated to support nonprofits’ COVID-19 response. The $236 million for COVID-19 relief will support over 9,600 charities and achieves the challenge Fidelity Charitable gave its donors last month to double their giving to COVID-19 relief organizations. The total giving so far in 2020 ($2.5 billion) is an 18% increase from this time last year.

“The $2.5 billion in grants from our donors so far this year will go a long way in helping sustain all nonprofits through this crisis and beyond,” said Pamela Norley, President of Fidelity Charitable. “We believe our donors will continue to act generously as the needs facing the nonprofit community and society at large have never been greater.”

Total grant volumes are up over 30% vs. this time last year, with Human Services charities, like food banks and homeless shelters, seeing the largest increase in grants (68% higher volume). Among the grants designated for COVID-19 relief, over one-third (36%) went to these organizations, likely a result of increased awareness of the unprecedented challenge facing food banks and others providing essential services to vulnerable populations.

Society Benefit charities, which include community foundations and social advocacy groups, saw a 37% increase in grant volumes compared to early 2019. Nearly 20% of grants designated for COVID-19 relief benefited these organizations. Increasing giving to medical relief organizations, many of which operate domestically and internationally, has also driven a 36% increase in grant volumes in the International Affairs charitable sector compared to this time last year.

Encouragingly, a recent Fidelity Charitable study of a broad population of American donors at the outbreak of the crisis found that most (79%) plan to maintain or increase the amount they give to charity this year. However, with fundraising and programming harshly impacted by the pandemic, nonprofits will need more assistance to continue providing crucial services. In fact, the study respondents also included a subset of nonprofit employees: 95% said that COVID-19 had impacted their ability to deliver in one or more of these areas: programming, fundraising, or engaging volunteers.

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About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 300,000 nonprofit organizations with $42 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable launched the first national donor-advised fund program. The mission of the organization is to grow the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving accessible, simple and effective. For more information about Fidelity Charitable, visit

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