Powering generosity:
Why and how donors use donor-advised funds

Today’s donors have more options than ever for structuring their philanthropy and facilitating their giving. Among those options are donor-advised funds—one of the fastest growing giving vehicles in the country. To understand this growth in interest, we conducted a survey among nearly 1,000 Fidelity Charitable donors that explored their experience using a donor-advised fund. In addition, we examined how donors plan to use their donor-advised funds in 2022 as we continue to experience market volatility, inflation, and other economic uncertainties.

Highlights from the study include: 

  • Fidelity Charitable donors are concerned about the potential impacts of current market conditions on both individuals and nonprofits in their communities. Six in ten say they are considering giving more to charity in 2022 in light of the situation.
  • Many Fidelity Charitable donors use their accounts as a ready reserve of charitable funds available for unexpected or urgent needs, in addition to the consistent support they provide to their favorite charities. Two-thirds say they’ve given more to charity than they would have without their donor-advised fund.
  • In addition to their desire to support nonprofits, donors have a mix of financial and administrative motivations in mind when they decide to open a donor-advised fund. Nearly 9 in 10 view the donor-advised fund as a tool to maximize the financial impact of their donations for both the charities they support and their own tax benefit.

For more findings from the study, read the detailed results.