Fidelity DAF Payouts Jump 11%

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) managed by Fidelity Charitable awarded $4.8 billion to nearly 125,000 charities during the first half of 2022, an 11% increase in grantmaking compared to the first six months of 2021.

Fidelity Charitable, an independent philanthropic arm of Fidelity Investments of Boston, Mass., paid out $4.3 billion in the first half of 2021 and $10.3 billion in DAFs for the year.

Fidelity Charitable President Jacob Pruitt in a release said the increased grantmaking occurred despite elevated economic worries so far this year, including the reality of Standard & Poor’s 500 ending June down more than 20% from the beginning of the year. Also, the inflation rate currently is 9.1% for the 12 months ending in June 2022 – the largest annual increase since November 1981.

Nearly one-million grants were recommended totaling the $4.8 billion, with multiple accounts supporting the same causes and charities.

Fidelity Charitable DAF grants were heavily directed to relieving the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, with donors recommending more than $128 million in grants specifically earmarked for aid efforts. Organizations that provided assistance to refugees in the way of food, medical care and temporary housing also saw significant spikes in support, the data showed.

International Medical Corps, with sites in Los Angeles, Calif., Washington, D.C., London, U.K., and Split Croatia, saw a tenfold increase in the number of DAFs awards, compared to the first half of 2021 and the number of DAF accounts supporting Washington, D.C.-based World Central Kitchen are five times greater than the first half of last year.

“It is heartening to see so much support for nonprofits working on the ground, particularly in areas facing crises,” Pruitt said.

He said charitable giving can typically be one of the first items to be cut during distressed economic times, citing the 12% drop in charitable giving in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 during the nation’s last prolonged recession.

Under current law, DAFs permit donors to receive an immediate tax deduction for an irrevocable donation to a dedicated charitable account. Donors are not required to release a minimum amount annually.