Fidelity Charitable study finds 64% of donors want to give more to charity, concerned about personal finances and impact

Fidelity Charitable’s latest study, Overcoming Barriers to Giving, explores concerns that prevent donors from giving and offers recommendations;

Fidelity Charitable Giving Tuesday webinar, open to all, brings donors expertise from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Giving Compass

BOSTON, November 9, 2017 – The last two months of the year, especially around the holidays, are known as the giving season, when Americans donate tens of billions of dollars to charity. As Americans approach this time of year, they look inward and focus on what charities to give to and then they make some tough decisions about how much. Fidelity Charitable has found that Americans want to give more.

Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity, today released results from a study of 3,200 donors and found that 64% of respondents would like to give more to charity. The study, Overcoming Barriers to Giving, found that the primary obstacles to increased giving were based on financial circumstances (72%) and concern about the impact of giving (65%). While donors have other questions and concerns, bridging the gap about finances and charity effectiveness has the greatest potential to help donors realize their giving goals.

“At Fidelity Charitable, our mission is to make giving accessible, simple and effective. We are constantly seeking ways to help Americans be as generous as they want to be in order to fully support the causes they care most about,” said Matt Nash, senior vice president of donor engagement at Fidelity Charitable.

“Of course, every household will have a limit on what they can give—however, we believe that there are many ways that people can create 'found money' for giving in their budgets. If people simply took advantage of the full tax benefits of giving or established automated, reoccurring gifts, for example, we think a donor would get closer to reaching their giving goals,” continued Nash.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Three-quarters of donors cite at least one concern about financing their giving.
  • Almost 50% of donors say a greater tax benefit or the ability to take a larger tax deduction would influence them to give more; however, 59% of donors are likely missing out on significant tax advantages related to giving.
  • Two-thirds of donors say understanding their impact would influence them to give more, with 81% of donors citing questions or concerns about impact. These concerns range from unease about determining an organization’s credibility to frustrations that some nonprofits do not always explain how a donation will be used.

Fidelity Charitable Giving Tuesday Webinar Shows Additional Ways Donors Can Give More Effectively

On November 12th at 12pm ET, in preparation for Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, Fidelity Charitable is providing a webinar for anyone interested in learning how to give more and make their giving more effective.

Giving Tuesday is one of the largest single charitable days of the year, raising $168 million in 2016 alone, and many donors will likely be approached by many nonprofits asking for support.

In this free webinar, philanthropy experts will provide tips and tools for smarter giving. Donors will learn:

  • What high-impact philanthropy is and why it matters
  • Criteria you can consider when evaluating nonprofits
  • What tools are available to help you give smarter


  • Anne Ferola, Center for High Impact Philanthropy
  • Victoria Vrana, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Stephanie Fuerstner Gillis,

Changing giving

In addition to the webinar, Fidelity Charitable is providing resources and recommendations that can help donors maximize their giving budgets and feel confident that their giving is creating impact.

Discovering funds for giving

  • Automate regular allocations to giving, through a bank or giving vehicle.
  • Tap into tax-smart assets – by donating appreciated stock directly to a charity, you have the potential to give up to 20% more than you would by giving cash.
  • Establish a giving vehicle that will potentially save on your taxes. Some provide tax-free growth, potentially creating additional dollars for charity.
  • If you have a financial advisor, reach out to them and discuss smarter ways to give.
  • Create an annual or household budget that includes giving, integrating it into your financial plan.
  • Increase the amount you give each year by a set percentage, until you get to the desired percent of income.
  • Particularly for families with children, incorporate giving into everyday life. Something as simple as setting up a donation jar in your household can create a surprising impact.

Creating confidence on the impact of giving:

  • Use research tools such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar to learn more.
  • Join a donor network or giving circle, which would provide an opportunity to learn more about charities or causes.
  • Get to know a nonprofit better by speaking with them, volunteering or through their materials. Fidelity Charitable has created a list of 9 questions to ask a nonprofit to get people started.
  • Use resources and lists that have been pre-vetted by reputable organizations such as the Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s year end giving guide.

Overcoming Barriers to Giving is based on a 2016 survey conducted among 3,254 adults in the U.S. who have donated to charities and claimed itemized charitable tax deductions on their tax returns. The study was conducted by Artemis Strategy Group, an independent research firm.

For the complete report and additional insights, visit

Overcoming Barriers to Giving

What holds donors back from giving more

Additional resources include:

Tax strategies to assist with financial concerns

Charitable Tax Strategies

Approaches to smarter giving to address impact concerns

Smarter Giving

About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 235,000 nonprofit organizations with more than $26 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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