The Giving Account
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Once you set up your Giving Account, you can start supporting charities right away.
The Giving Account lets you support virtually any 501(c)(3) public charity. That should include all the charities you support today, with only a few exceptions, such as private foundations. Our online process makes giving easy. The minimum grant is just $50, and you can support as many charities as you like—with more flexibility and better bookkeeping than ever.
How do you know your favorite charity is eligible?
What does the grant review and due diligence process entail?
Under policies set by the Fidelity Charitable Board of Trustees, Fidelity Charitable conducts a robust review of each grant recommendation to ensure grants are made only to IRS-qualified public charities, that those public charities use those granted funds solely for proper charitable purposes, and that grants do not confer impermissible benefits on donors or on any other person. Fidelity Charitable reserves the right to perform additional due diligence and to decline to make a recommended grant to a charitable organization.
The IRS is the principal U.S. government agency responsible for determining which organizations are qualified public charities. If and when an organization loses its IRS-recognized public charity status, Fidelity Charitable immediately stops making grants to it and notifies the recommending donors. In addition, other state and federal agencies may review the activities of a charitable organization, which can also affect whether Fidelity Charitable makes grants to an organization. We encourage donors with concerns about the activities of any charitable organization to contact the IRS or state charity regulators.
Fidelity Charitable’s review of grants takes into consideration data from a variety of sources, ranging from IRS databases, public records regarding litigation and governmental proceedings, to many other sources of information, including, but not limited to, news reports and information provided by donors, grantees, and others. For example, Fidelity Charitable does not make grants if an organization may be engaged in illegal or non-charitable activity (such as terrorism, money laundering, hate crimes, or fraud), or if a grant may otherwise be used for improper purposes (such as personal benefit).
Fidelity Charitable is cause-neutral and supports grantmaking to a wide range of charitable organizations as recommended by its donors, does not limit grantmaking to specific charitable activities or fields of interest, to specific geographical or demographic criteria, or to specific organizations based on political, religious, or philosophical grounds.
Grants recommended by donors do not, in any way, reflect the views of, or represent an endorsement by, Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity, the Fidelity Charitable Board of Trustees, or Fidelity Investments. By the same token, in declining to approve a grant recommendation to a specific organization, Fidelity Charitable is not making any form of statement about that organization or its activities. Declining to make a grant does not prevent the organization from speaking or challenging its status as a charitable organization, nor does it prevent the organization from seeking and receiving funds from other sources. It also does not prevent the recommending donor from making a contribution from other funds.
There are many charities to choose from, and sometimes donors can find it hard to know which to support. Fidelity Charitable provides guidance and resources to help donors evaluate charities and make more informed giving decisions.
The Fidelity Charitable Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring all grants are made for charitable purposes. As such, the Trustees regularly review the Fidelity Charitable grantmaking policies and procedures.
What exactly does 501(c)(3) mean?
501(c)(3) refers to the tax-exempt status of a nonprofit organization as qualified under IRS rules. Because 501(c)(3) organizations are charitable in nature, they are allowed to receive tax-deductible donations from donors like you.
There are different kinds of 501(c)(3) organizations, public charities and private foundations. Fidelity Charitable can generally only make grants to public charities, which includes most 501(c)(3)s — anything from your alma mater to your local arts council. Fidelity Charitable cannot support certain supporting organizations or most private foundations.
You have two options for using your Giving Account to support causes outside the U.S. You can recommend a grant to an American charity that works overseas, or you can recommend a grant to an American intermediary charity that will, in turn, make a grant to your preferred organization for an additional fee.
The following intermediary charities specialize in various regions of the world, and they can help you support the causes you care about.
How do I know if one of these intermediary charities works with my preferred organization?
Start by reaching out to the intermediary charities that work in your region of interest, and ask if they work with the charity you have in mind. Then compare fees and timing considerations.
Do intermediary charities charge a fee?
Yes. Please reach out to them directly to find out more.
What if I want to support an international cause but don’t have a specific charity in mind?
If you have a region of interest, talk to the intermediary charities that work in that part of the world. They can help you choose a local organization that would benefit from your support. But, keep in mind that lots of U.S.-based organizations do meaningful work overseas, so you don't necessarily have to support an international charity to support causes abroad.
What’s different about the process of donating to an intermediary charity?
For starters, it’s a good idea to contact the intermediary charity and find out if it works with the organization you have in mind. Secondly, intermediary charities charge a fee for their international grantmaking diligence and associated costs. Finally, while granting to an intermediary is essentially the same as any other U.S.-based charity, you may want to specify a recommended use for the funds.
For example, you can recommend a $10,000 grant to Give2Asia and specify “Cambodian Center for the Protection of Childrens Rights to support their walk-in center for homeless youth,” or simply “for Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children's Rights, where it's needed most.”