Spotlight: How Fidelity Charitable Donors
Approach Philanthropy as a Family

Giving can be a very personal and individual act. But in many cases, it isn't a solitary activity—in fact,
our giving behavior is often shaped by those around us, beginning with our parents. Indeed, the
simple act of parents talking about giving with their children makes it 20 percent more likely that
those children will also give to charity.16 So how has family shaped the giving behavior of Fidelity
Charitable donors? How do family and friends influence choices about what causes and organiza–
tions to support? This special section of the Giving Report, which is based on a survey of Fidelity
Charitable donors,17 examines these questions and others.


Fidelity Charitable donors are committed givers, and they are equally commit–
ted to passing those values along to the next generation.

Most Fidelity Charitable
donors say they are actively
teaching or have taught
their children to give.

Donors at all levels are
teaching their children to
give. However, donors with
larger accounts are signifi-
cantly more likely to strongly agree.

Donors who strongly agree
they learned about giving
from their own parents are
more likely to teach their
children to give.

Donors almost universally
agree that volunteering
time is an important com–
ponent in developing
values and a legacy of


Fidelity Charitable donors frequently engage their family in making giving
decisions, including choosing which charities to support and discussing strate–
gies for giving.

Sixty–five percent say
they discussed giving
plans, charity selection,
and philanthropic planning
with their families two or
more times in the past
year. Nearly 20 percent
say they discussed those
topics with family more
than five times annually.

Nearly 40 percent of
donors strongly agree
that the causes they
support reflect input
from family members.

Many Fidelity Charitable
donors—but particularly
donors with larger
accounts—express an
interest in getting family
members more engaged
with grant recommen–


Younger donors are more likely to say their parents taught them about philanthropy, to teach their own children about philanthropy and to say that the causes they support reflect input from family.

More than 75 percent of
Fidelity Charitable donors
say their parents taught
them to give. However,
younger donors are much
more likely to strongly
agree than older donors
that they learned about
giving from their parents.

Similarly, donors under 50
are significantly more likely
than donors over 70 to
strongly agree that they
have taught—or are teach–
ing—their children to give.

Nearly 80 percent of
donors under 50 report
discussing giving plans,
charity selection or philan–
thropic strategies with,
family members two or
more times per year. Only
62 percent of donors in
their 70s report having such, conversations with the same frequency.

Younger donors are signifi–
cantly more likely to strongly agree that their charitable choices are influenced by family. Indeed, donors under 50 are twice as likely as donors in their 80s to say they strongly agreed.

16 Women Give 2013: New Research on Charitable Giving by Boys and Girls; researched and written by The Center on Philanthropy at
   Indiana University.

17 Ipsos, an independent research firm, conducted a survey on behalf of Fidelity Charitable to profile donors´┐Ż views on engaging
   family in philanthropy. 1,159 donors responded in 2013.