Fidelity Charitable Trustees' Initiative grants nearly $13 million to aid nonprofit sector in time of unprecedented need

Support of nonprofit infrastructure helps sector adapt to changes

Nonprofit sector receives additional COVID relief

Donor education inspires giving

BOSTON, September 9, 2020 The Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative granted approximately $12.7 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year to bolster the nonprofit sector, which is being fundamentally reshaped even as need for nonprofit services grows. The Fidelity Charitable Trustee’s Initiative is a grantmaking program of Fidelity Charitable, separate from its donor-advised fund program. Its purpose is to strengthen the resilience, sustainability and effectiveness of the social sector’s infrastructure—the shared resources, information, networks, research and advocacy that all nonprofits need. The nearly $13 million in grants also included $1.65 million for disaster relief, including to support immediate pandemic response efforts, focusing on medical needs, community safety and assistance for the charitable sector.

Details are available in the 2020 Trustees’ Initiative Impact Report.

“Infrastructure, the roads and bridges of the nonprofit sector, is crucial to providing services in these times, but it has been traditionally underfunded,” said Pamela Norley, President, Fidelity Charitable. “A strong foundation helps nonprofits respond effectively to changing conditions to better navigate these uncertain times, and our Trustees are committed to ensuring the sector emerges from this crisis stronger than ever.”

The 40 grants made by the Trustees’ Initiative in the last fiscal year supported the social sector’s infrastructure and donor effectiveness, as well as supplemental COVID-19 relief.


Nineteen intermediary organizations that provide infrastructure support such as technology, research and other services to the nonprofit sector received grants. For example, one grant helped Benetech continue its work on a software system for the social safety net that is giving directory organizations and social service providers the ability to more easily share and maintain information on critical human services.

Donor Effectiveness:

Nine organizations received grants to create resources and tools for donors that help them best achieve their intended impact. For example, ideas42, used the Trustees’ Initiative grant to help build and pilot tools for values-based giving.

COVID relief:

Ten organizations received grants to help with disaster relief, including COVID-19 relief efforts. When the pandemic hit, the Trustees’ Initiative committed funds to support immediate response efforts, focusing on medical needs, community safety and assistance for the charitable sector.

In addition to its grantmaking via the Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative, Fidelity Charitable has been committed, since the beginning of the pandemic, to providing free resources to help inform the public on critical needs created by the pandemic and inspire giving. More than 225,000 web visitors have viewed the COVID-19 giving guidance and more than 9,000 have watched virtual events with nonprofit leaders.

“We seek to inspire giving that will uplift the entire nonprofit sector in a crisis,” says Norley. “It is critical that we maintain momentum as we face the marathon ahead.”

The Fidelity Charitable Trustees' Initiative announced its new grantmaking strategy in February 2024 to coincide with its new name: the Fidelity Charitable Catalyst Fund. Learn more about the work of this grantmaking program.

About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 278,000 nonprofit organizations with more than $35 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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