Donor-advised fund (DAF) account holders at Fidelity Charitable eclipsed the $200 million distribution goal set for #GivingTuesdayNow. To date, donors have recommended more than $2.5 billion in grants in 2020, an 18-percent increase compared to the same time last year.
Almost 10 percent of the distributions, about $236 million, have been designated to support nonprofits’ coronavirus (COVID-19) response. Leading up to #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, Fidelity Charitable challenged account holders to recommend $200 million toward pandemic relief efforts.
In March, total grant volumes increased 36 percent from the prior year, with 136,000 grants recommended, with more than $100 million in grants to more than 4,500 nonprofits recommended in response to COVID-19. Fidelity account holders granted $60 million in response to seven natural disasters during 2017.
Total grant volumes by Fidelity Charitable account holders are up more than 30 percent compared with the same time in 2019. Human service charities are seeing the largest increase in grants, 68 percent, and 36 percent of COVID-19-designated grants went to human service organizations.
Society benefit charities, which include community foundations and social advocacy groups, saw grant volumes increase 37 percent compared to early 2019, with almost 20 percent of those designated in response to COVID-19.
Grant volumes to international affairs organizations are up 36 percent, driven by increased giving to medical relief charities, many of which operate domestically and internationally.
A recent Fidelity Charitable study of a broad population of American donors at the outbreak of the crisis found that almost 80 percent plan to maintain or increase the amount they give to charity this year. However, with fundraising and programming harshly impacted by the pandemic, nonprofits will need more assistance to continue providing crucial services. Respondents also included a subset of nonprofit employees: 95 percent said that COVID-19 had impacted their ability to deliver in one or more of these areas: programming, fundraising, or engaging volunteers.
Fidelity Charitable donors recommended $7.3 billion in grants to 155,000 charities during 2019, exceeding the previous record of $5.2 billion set a year earlier.