BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than $5.25 billion in grants to over 125,000 charities were recommended by Fidelity Charitable donors so far in 2019, breaking the full year record of $5.2 billion granted in 2018. The more than 955,000 donor-recommended grants took place in the first ten months of the year, with Giving Season still yet to begin. Since its inception in 1991, Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity and the nation’s largest grantmaker, has made more than $40 billion in donor-recommended grants to more than 294,000 charities.
“Our donors are always generous in giving their time and resources, but this year’s grantmaking exceeded our highest expectations,” said Pamela Norley, President, Fidelity Charitable. “The ability to commit funds to a charitable purpose with a donor-advised fund allows donors to be both intentional and impactful; they can be thoughtful about long-term giving while also supporting charities in the moment as crises emerge locally, nationally or internationally.”
Fidelity Charitable donors focused not only on causes in their local communities, but also on issues facing the world at large. This year’s record $5.25 billion in donor-recommended grants included support to charities focused on disaster relief, addiction recovery, rainforest conservation, and 9/11 first responders.
Grantmaking from donor-advised funds provides stability to the nonprofit sector, both in terms of level grantmaking throughout the year, and increased grantmaking in times of market volatility. For example, despite market fluctuations and tax reform uncertainty that caused a 1.1% drop in individual giving in 20181, grants recommended by Fidelity Charitable donors increased by 17% that year. And while most giving occurs in the last two months of the year for the nonprofit sector at large, grantmaking from Fidelity Charitable donor-advised funds continues year-round, with significant dollars reaching charities every month of the year. Year-to-date, Fidelity Charitable donors recommended an average of over $525 million in grants each month in 2019.
“Year-round support from donors is crucial to helping nonprofits achieve their goals in real-time,” said Norley. “These organizations need support throughout the year, and our donors continue to grow their charitable impact by recognizing and responding to that need.”
Giving Season Tips
Fidelity Charitable provides numerous resources to its donors to help them in their giving. As Giving Season kicks off this fall, here are 8 tips to supercharge the impact of your charitable giving.
- Get focused. You’ll be able to make a more significant impact if you limit the organizations or cause areas you support to a few you really care about, and then make a larger gift to each. Try creating a charitable mission statement to help you focus.
- Choose a great nonprofit. Donating to a well-run nonprofit—small or large—will have greater impact. Begin by doing some basic research using sites like Candid or Charity Navigator, as well as materials on the nonprofits’ websites.
- Make unrestricted gifts. Instead of designating your charitable gifts for a special purpose, provide general support to an organization you care about. That gives the charity the flexibility to use the funds where they can do the most good.
- Make a multi-year gift. If you’ve found a charity you really love, let them know you plan to support them for the next five years and how much you plan to give. The more a charity knows about how much support they can expect, the better they can plan to put your dollars to work.
- Give together. Participating in a giving circle where multiple people pool their resources to provide nonprofits with support is a great way to increase your impact. Similarly, you can create a giving tradition as a family by having all commit to supporting a common charity through donation or volunteering.
- Maximize your giving dollars. Try strategies like setting funds aside for giving as part of your budget, making use of tax-savvy strategies like donating stock, “bunching” your charitable donations, or using a dedicated charitable account like a donor-advised fund. Take some time to research the options and speak to your tax advisor to see if you can make your giving dollars stretch farther.
- Spread the word. Your voice can be just as important as your wallet in helping to drive attention to a cause. Follow great organizations on social media and share posts that showcase its work or educate about the issues. If you can commit to the time, agree to help with fundraising or volunteering.
- Just get started. The best thing you can do is something—right now. Choose an organization and send that donation. Sign up for that charitable walk or race. Share a post on social media about a cause you care about. Don’t delay—take action.
About Fidelity Charitable
Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 294,000 nonprofit organizations with more than $40 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable launched the first national donor-advised fund program. The mission of the organization is to grow the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving accessible, simple and effective. For more information about Fidelity Charitable, visit https://www.fidelitycharitable.org.
1 Giving USA Report, 2019