Schwab Charitable, the San Francisco-based donor-advised fund provider, has announced that it facilitated more than $1.5 billion in grants in 2016, a 41 percent increase over the previous year.
In 2016, Schwab donors supported 61,000 charities and recommended approximately 273,000 grants — up from 233,000 in 2015 — to a range of domestic and international causes, including relief efforts for Hurricane Matthew, flood relief in Louisiana, and the global refugee crisis. Donors were particularly active during the final three months of the year, when they recommended 128,000 grants totaling nearly $672 million. The amount awarded in the fourth quarter represents an increase of 75 percent over the same period in 2015 and is almost half — 45 percent — of the total value of grants awarded by Schwab Charitable in 2016.
The charity also announced that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of the contributions to its DAF accounts in 2016 were non-cash assets. Contributing appreciated non-cash assets to a tax-exempt like Schwab Charitable generally allows donors to avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of those assets, giving them more latitude to increase their giving. According to the charity, two-thirds of its donors say they give more than they otherwise would because of the convenience and tax efficiency provided by a DAF account.
"The generosity our donors showed last year was truly remarkable," said Schwab Charitable president Kim Laughton. "We are so proud to have helped them distribute more than $1 billion in grants for the second year in a row. Many investors turned to charitable giving to offset higher capital gains and income taxes associated with earnings from a strong economy and high-performing stock market. Uncertainty over the new administration’s tax policy also encouraged donors to maximize the significant benefits of charitable giving under the existing tax code."