Study: Pandemic drove donors to give more and differently in 2020

BOSTON, December 1, 2020 – The events of this year dramatically changed how people give to philanthropic causes. According to a report on 2020 giving by Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity and the nation’s largest grantmaker, the pandemic drove nearly half of donors (46 percent) to give notably more this year. Three-in-four donors (73 percent) said COVID-19 affected their decision of which organizations to support. Of those, 37 percent gave to different nonprofits than usual, while a similar number (36 percent) supported their typical nonprofits. Virtually all (92 percent) of those who gave to new organizations also planned gifts to the charities they regularly supported. 

More than half of donors (54 percent) whose giving was influenced by the pandemic expressed a desire to help affected nonprofits. The large majority of donors (84 percent) were concerned about small, community-based nonprofits weathering the pandemic, but only half as many (43 percent) showed concern for larger, national nonprofits.

“An earlier Fidelity Charitable study, Communities in Crisis, showed that while granting to human services charities grew during the pandemic, granting to other sectors was stable, and according to this study, almost every donor who gave to a different charity also continued support for all or most of the organizations they had given to regularly,” said Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Donor Engagement for Fidelity Charitable. “Donors understand that all charities face unprecedented demands, and giving strategies meaningfully changed.”

For more information, please review the report.

Survey Methodology: The survey was conducted about how Fidelity Charitable donors are approaching charitable giving in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 491 Fidelity Charitable donors were surveyed in August 2020.

About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 300,000 nonprofit organizations with more than $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. Visit

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