Schwab Charitable, the San Francisco-based provider of donor-advised funds, has announced that it facilitated more than 600,000 grants totaling over $2.7 billion to more than 89,000 charities in 2019, a 26 percent increase in dollars granted and a 24 percent increase in the numbers of grants compared with 2018.
The record high in donor-advised giving by the organization — nearly double the $1.5 billion it awarded in 2016 — was driven by the eye-opening runup in stock prices in 2019, with many donors choosing to protect their gains by donating appreciated shares of stock and other assets to their Schwab-sponsored DAF. Indeed, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of donors' contributions to a Schwab donor-advised account were in the form of non-cash assets such as publicly traded securities, restricted stock, and privately held business interests. And with donors having a better understanding of how to manage their giving and tax planning under changes introduced in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many chose to "bunch" their contributions and itemize their deductions rather than take the increased standard deduction.
The DAF sponsor also reported that the number of grants made from a mobile device in 2019 increased 54 percent on a year-over-year basis, while in terms of issue area the most widely supported sectors were religion, human services, and education. Top grant recipients included Feeding America, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Salvation Army.
"Strong market performance in 2019 encouraged many donors to reach new heights of generosity by making tax-smart contributions of appreciated assets," said Schwab Charitable president Kim Laughton. "This year's granting record reflects a diversity of giving styles, goals, and strategies and demonstrates the commitment by these donors to making an even bigger difference in the world. We look forward to supporting their philanthropic efforts for many more years to come."