Fidelity Charitable has announced that its donor-advised funds awarded a total of $9.1 billion in grants in 2020, a year-over-year increase of 31 percent.
According to the donor-advised fund sponsor's 2021 Giving Report (40 pages, PDF), more than 250,000 donors recommended two million grants to 170,000 charities in 2020, with grants to human services organizations claiming nearly a quarter of the dollars awarded. For the first time since the organization started reporting on its donor-advised grants, three charities that provide food assistance, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, and World Central Kitchen, were among the twenty most popular recipients of grants, while grants in support of food assistance increased twelve-fold.
The report also found that donors increased both the frequency and size of their grants in 2020, with donors/accounts recommending an average of 12.8 grants, compared with 10.8 grants in 2019, and the average grant amount totaling $4,614, an increase of about $250. According to the report, 68 percent of the contributions received by the organization in 2020 were non-cash assets, including publicly and non-publicly traded assets and securities. The organization, which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary in 2021, has processed $51 billion in grants since its inception, with more than half of that awarded in the past five years.
"The tremendous acceleration in giving last year showed the power of donor-advised funds to offer relief when it's needed most and help sustain the nonprofit sector in the face of unprecedented adversity," said Fidelity Charitable president Pamela Norley. "Notably, three-in-four grants were made to organizations donors had previously supported."