New data on giving during COVID-19 highlights unprecedented need; Fidelity Charitable challenges donors to double recommended grants to $200 million by May

Fidelity Charitable donors have already recommended $100 million in earmarked grants to provide relief to nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic

Fidelity Charitable challenges donors to hit $200 million by May 5, “#GivingTuesdayNow” Day

Over 75% of donors plan to maintain or increase the amount they give to charity this year, but nearly half expect volunteering to decrease 

BOSTON, MA, April 8, 2020 – Fidelity Charitable today announced that its donors have recommended more than $100 million in grants from their donor-advised fund accounts to over 4,500 nonprofits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic since tracking officially began last month. In March alone, grant volumes increased 36% from the prior year, with 136,000 grants recommended.

Fidelity Charitable is challenging them to maintain this momentum and recommend an additional $100 million in grants in the lead up to “Giving Tuesday Now” on May 5.

“We’re inspired to see this rapid response from our donors, which will help support immediate medical needs, protect vulnerable populations, and sustain nonprofits affected by COVID-19,” said Pamela Norley, President of Fidelity Charitable.  “We’re now challenging our donors to hit the $200 million granting mark by Tuesday, May 5, which our collaborator Giving Tuesday has dubbed ‘GivingTuesdayNow.’” 

A recent Fidelity Charitable study* of a broad population of American donors indicated that while most donors (79%) plan to maintain or increase the amount they give to charity this year, volunteer activity is likely to dramatically decrease due to the pandemic. Nearly half (47%) of recent volunteers believe the amount of time they volunteer will decrease or stop entirely because of the pandemic. Additionally, donors are most concerned about the way that COVID-19 could impact the ability of health- and human services-related nonprofits to do their work, but concern is high for organizations in all charitable sectors.

The study finds these concerns are well-warranted. The 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. More than three-quarters say the impact is severe in at least one of these areas.

Additional insights

COVID-19-shifts-in-giving study
  •  25% of donors plan to increase their donations in response to COVID-19.
  • 54% of donors plan to maintain their giving levels.
COVID-19 generational giving shifts study
  • Millennials are more likely to step up donations, with 46% of them saying they will give more compared to 25% of Gen-X and 14% of Baby Boomers.
  • Older donors are more likely to say their volunteering will decrease (61% of Silent Generation and 57% of Baby Boomers, compared to 41% of Generation X and 37% of Millennials).
  • Donors are concerned that this crisis could impact the ability of nonprofits to do their work. By charitable category, donors are most concerned about:
    • Human services organizations, such as homeless shelters and food banks (83% concerned)
    • Small or community-based nonprofits in general (82% concerned)
    • Health or medical research organizations (77% concerned) 
  • One-third (32%) of respondents say they don’t have the information they need to understand where they can direct their support effectively.
  • Older generations feel particularly unsure of how to direct their donations—with 35% of Baby Boomers saying they don’t have enough information, versus only 27% of Millennials.
COVID-19 nonprofit perspective study
  • 95% of nonprofit employees reported impacts to either the delivery of programs (82%), fundraising (79%) or volunteer services and programs (79%).

For more information on the study and the $200 million donor challenge, visit:

For full results from the COVID-19 survey, visit:

*Methodology: This study was conducted between March 18 and 30, 2020 online among a national cross-section of 1,842 adults in the U.S. who donated at least $1,000 in 2019. 300 respondents were currently employed by a nonprofit and answered additional questions about the impact of COVID-19 to their nonprofit employer.

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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