DAF Giving Remains Strong Despite Economy
The largest donor-advised fund announced its grantmaking increased 11% in the first half of 2022. With $4.8 billion already given through June of this year, Fidelity Charitable is on pace to surpass $11 million in grants this year. The rise comes after a record $10.3 billion for the grantmaker in 2021.
“The continued growth in granting we saw during the first half of the year shows the value of donor-advised funds as a sustaining force for the sector even when times get tough,” Jacob Pruitt, Fidelity Charitable president, said in a statement. “Despite rising inflation and market volatility, Fidelity Charitable donors have continued to lead with generosity and are providing record-high support to nonprofits.”
Over at Schwab Charitable, the third-largest donor-advised fund sponsor, it saw a 27% increase in its most recent fiscal year that ended June 30. In that timeframe, it provided $4.7 billion via 993,000 grants — a 24% increase over the previous fiscal year — to 117,000 nonprofits.
“The remarkable charitable impact our donors made over the past fiscal year is truly inspiring,” Sam Kang, president of Schwab Charitable, said in a statement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide tools, resources and education for our donor community as they continue to increase giving to meet rising needs in their communities and around the world.”
Schwab Charitable found that donors gave an average of 13 times and supported 11% more charities than last fiscal year. Additionally, 61% of contributions were in the form of non-cash assets, such as publicly traded securities, restricted stock and private business interests. Donating non-cash assets to charity allows donors to potentially eliminate capital gains tax and therefore increase the amount available for charity by up to 20%, according to the grantmaker.
Fidelity Charitable attributed its surge mostly to the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis response, citing $128 million in grants going directly toward aid efforts. Organizations, like International Medical Corps and World Central Kitchen, that have been assisting Ukrainian refugees have seen tenfold and fivefold increases, respectively, in the number of recommended grants over the same period in 2021.
“It is heartening to see so much support for nonprofits working on the ground, particularly in areas facing crises,” Pruitt said in the statement.
Schwab Charitable saw the same generosity with $50 million in grants assisting those affected by the war in Ukraine. One donor told the grantmaker:
“We've made ‘emergency’ donations to multiple entities who are on the ground in Ukraine with humanitarian assistance and relief efforts, as well as entities that are helping to manage surging refugee populations. As much as possible, we're trying to do this not by diverting grants that would have gone to other hot spots and areas of need, but rather, adding to our account with new contributions.”
The National Philanthropic Trust, the second largest donor-advised fund sponsor, also runs on a fiscal year that ended June 30. While its most recent figures have not been released yet, in the 2021 calendar year, it granted $5.15 billion — 15% over 2020 and 212% over 2019. Meanwhile, Vanguard Charitable, the fourth largest donor-advised fund grantmaker, posted its fifth straight year of record giving with $1.78 billion in 2021.
Related story: The Ultimate Guide to Donor-Advised Funds
Amanda L. Cole is the editor-in-chief of NonProfit PRO. She was formerly editor-in-chief of special projects for NonProfit PRO's sister publication, Promo Marketing. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.