Recommending a grant

Because the Giving Account is a donor-advised fund, Fidelity Charitable accepts grant recommendations from Account Holders to support their philanthropic goals. Account Holders may recommend grants online, on the Fidelity Charitable app, or by phone. 

Grant recommendations are subject to review to ensure that funds meet the Fidelity Charitable grant guidelines. If the grant recommendation is not approved, Fidelity Charitable will notify authorized individuals or contacts on a Giving Account.

Eligible grant recipients

Eligible grant recipients include qualified charitable organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as select private operating foundations or units of government as identified by the Code.

Ineligible grant recipients

  • Non-charitable organizations
  • Individuals
  • Private non-operating foundations
  • Type III supporting organizations that are not “functionally integrated”
  • Governmental instrumentalities

Ineligible grant purposes

  • Testing for public safety organizations
  • Political contributions, including campaigns or lobbying
  • Improper purposes, such as membership fees, charitable auctions, or other goods and services
  • Charitable event tickets
  • Benefits in connection with an athletic fund

Supporting causes outside the United States: Fidelity Charitable generally does not make grants to charitable organizations not formed under the laws of the United States and its territories. Donors may, however, recommend grants to eligible U.S. intermediary public charities that carry on or provide funding for charitable activities outside the United States. Such grants, if approved by Fidelity Charitable, are subject to the policies of the recipient U.S. public charity, including any additional fees and grant minimums that may apply.

Learn more about eligible grant recipients.

Allocating grants from investment pools

An Account Holder may recommend the investment pool(s) from which a grant should be disbursed (in whole dollars). If the Account Holder does not recommend a pool(s) from which a grant should be disbursed, Fidelity Charitable will disburse the grant from the Money Market Pool first and then proportionately from all remaining pools with a balance.

Special purpose designation

An Account Holder may recommend that a grant be used by the charitable organization for a “special purpose,” such as a building fund, research project, or in honor of a person. 

Donor acknowledgement

When recommending a grant, an Account Holder may request:

  • To be identified by name, address, and Giving Account name (e.g., Smith Family Charitable Fund) to the recipient charity;
  • To be identified only by the Giving Account name; or
  • To remain anonymous

Fidelity Charitable may in its judgment choose to limit anonymity. However, Fidelity Charitable will not release the Account Holder’s name and contact information to any recipient charity without the Account Holder’s explicit consent.

Grant distribution

Once a grant is approved, Fidelity Charitable will make the grant typically within 10 business days. However, additional due diligence may be required if the grant recommendation is to a charity not previously reviewed and verified by Fidelity Charitable. Pool unit values may fluctuate between the time of the recommendation and the grant’s actual distribution.

Fidelity Charitable grants are accompanied by a letter, or detailed spreadsheet, recognizing the Giving Account name, unless anonymity is requested. After each grant is processed, the Primary Account Holder will receive a confirmation from Fidelity Charitable. Account Holders may alternatively request that their name and address be included along with the Giving Account name, in which case they may also receive direct acknowledgments from recipient charities, if they choose to send them.

However, Account Holders are not eligible for additional charitable deductions for these grants, because the grant is made by Fidelity Charitable, and the Account Holder’s charitable deduction opportunity was at the time of the contribution to Fidelity Charitable.

Donor privacy: If an Account Holder requests anonymity, the Giving Account name will be omitted from the confirmation letter, and they can choose to not receive acknowledgments from recipient charities.

Minimum granting

Fidelity Charitable allows unlimited grants from a Giving Account. Fidelity Charitable considers grant recommendations of $50 or more, or the balance of the Giving Account, whichever is less.

Active grantmaking is required for every Giving Account. If no grants are cleared from a Giving Account after one year, Fidelity Charitable will make every effort to contact the Account Holder to encourage grant recommendations. If no grants are cleared from a Giving Account after two years, Fidelity Charitable will grant 5% of the Giving Account balance to IRS-qualified public charities approved by the Trustees. For Giving Accounts with a grant history, Fidelity Charitable will make every effort to grant to charities the donor has previously supported.

Gift4Giving® Program — An eGift

The Gift4Giving® Program gives Account Holders the opportunity to dedicate a portion of their Giving Account so that individuals designated by them may recommend grants to the eligible charitable organization of their choice. An Account Holder may designate a minimum of $50, and up to the maximum of $10,000 to a Gift4Giving eGift. Learn more about Gift4Giving.