Donor–Advised Funds:
Changing the Charitable Landscape

While donor–advised funds have been a part of American philanthropy for more than seventy–five years, their role in shaping the charitable landscape has grown dramatically over the past two decades as they have become one of the fastest growing vehicles for charitable giving.14

At the same time, U.S. giving has grown well above the rate of inflation, despite frequently challenging economic circumstances. In 1991, when Fidelity Charitable was founded, total giving in the U.S. was $105 billion. By 2012, that figure had grown to more than $316 billion—an 83 percent rise over two decades when adjusted for inflation.15 While there are many reasons for that growth, Fidelity Charitable

In annual surveys, a consistent two–thirds of Fidelity Charitable donors say that they give more than they otherwise would because they have a Giving Account.

believes that the donor–advised fund has been, and will continue to be, a useful vehicle for simple, flexible, and effective charitable giving, as well as one that helps raise the overall level of giving in the U.S.

Fidelity Charitable was established thanks to the vision of Edward C. Johnson 3d, the Chairman of Fidelity Investments. He had seen how structures like private foundations and trusts helped wealthy individuals plan and organize their philanthropy and wanted to make a similar planned giving vehicle accessible to more Americans.

The Fidelity Charitable Giving Report has highlighted how nonprofit organizations and Fidelity Charitable donors have benefited from this vision. Fidelity Charitable donors thoughtfully plan their giving over time, contribute many different types of assets to charity, advise how Giving Account assets are invested for growth—–and give more. In annual surveys, a consistent two–thirds of Fidelity Charitable donors say that they give more than they otherwise would because they have a Giving Account. Fidelity Charitbale donors are engaged philanthropists, and their use of the Giving Account has helped change the charitable landscape for the better.

14 2013 Donor–Advised Fund Report, the National philanthropic Trust.

15 Giving USA 2013, The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2012; Giving USA Foundation.