Fidelity Charitable releases 2016 Giving Report

According to the recently released 2016 Fidelity Charitable Giving Report, last year's nonprofit donors were strongly motivated to give to charities providing relief for world emergencies, such as the earthquake in Nepal and the Syrian refugee crisis, and to charities funding medical research and healthcare.

The report analyzes the giving patterns and impact of Fidelity Charitable’s 132,000 donors. Fidelity Charitable, which is based in Boston, is an independent public charity with one of the largest donor-advised fund programs. It is also the country’s second largest grantmaker after the Gates Foundation. Since its beginnings 25 years ago, the fund has distributed $22 billion to 106,000 nonprofits. Last year, more than 80,000 accounts gave a total $3.1 billion to charities.

Released on June 2, the fourth annual report revealed that donor were motivated primarily by immediate relief efforts; social giving efforts, such as charity walks; and organizations focused on healthcare and medical research. Reflecting the trend to donate to organizations providing direct relief for global crises, UNICEF saws a 38 percent increase in the number of donors supporting them, and Oxfam noticed a 35 percent increase.

The report also examined the difference between philanthropists who use donor-advised funds (DAFs) and those who don’t, showing that DAFs donors offer more support for more charities than those who do not use donor-advised funds.

According to the survey, over 70 percent of Fidelity Charitable donors give more than $10,000 a year compared to 42 percent of similarly affluent donors who do not use DAFs. Also, 85 percent of DAFs philanthropists support six or more nonprofits, compared to 36 percent of donors surveyed who do no use DAFs.

“Fidelity Charitable donors support an extraordinary range of organizations, with more than 106,000 nonprofits receiving grants last year,” says Amy Danforth, president of Fidelity Charitable. “While most who give have organizations and causes that they support year-in and year-out, those who use donor-advised funds have a dedicated account for charitable giving, which enables them not only to provide ongoing support to their favorite charitable causes, but also to more easily and quickly respond to meet new needs as they emerge.”

Other findings show that:

  • Two-thirds of donor contribution dollars to Fidelity Charitable were non-cash assets.
  • 60 percent of their donors contributed appreciated assets to Fidelity Charitable last year.
  • 82 percent of their donors engaged others in the decision-making process around their giving.
  • 62 percent of their retired donors are confident about their ability to give in the future.
  • 92 percent of donations allocated to Giving Accounts at Fidelity Charitable are distributed to charities within 10 years of receipt.