Fidelity Charitable has announced that its donor-advised funds awarded a record $3 billion in grants to more than a hundred thousand charities in 2015.
The number of donor-recommended grants rose 18 percent on a year-over-year basis to 733,000, and included 329 grants of at least $1 million, a 27 percent increase, while the average grant size increased slightly from $4,100 in 2014 to $4,200. In 2015, support for refugee relief efforts included nearly 600 grants totaling $3.3 million, while more than 6,000 grants totaling $8.3 million were awarded in support of earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.
Contributions of non-cash assets such as publicly traded stocks and mutual fund shares, real estate, and privately held business interests were up 18 percent, the fund began accepting contributions of bitcoin in November.
"Despite the market downturn this year, our donors continued to show dedication to giving back," said Fidelity Charitable president Amy Danforth. "One of the inherent strengths of donor-advised funds is that they enable sustained giving. Donors who contribute to donor advised funds irrevocably commit those funds to philanthropy. This makes their ability to give — year in and year out — less sensitive to market fluctuation and provides a source of ongoing support to thousands of charities nationwide."