Schwab Charitable, the San Francisco-based donor-advised fund provider, has announced that it facilitated more than $1.5 billion in grants in fiscal year 2017, a 34 percent increase over the previous year.
During the fiscal year that ended June 30, Schwab donors supported more than 65,000 charities and recommended nearly 310,000 grants, up 29 percent from the 240,000 grants recommended in fiscal year 2016. Roughly two-thirds of all contributions to Schwab Charitable accounts were non-cash assets. Contributing an appreciated investment or asset held for more than a year to a public charity such as Schwab Charitable generally allows donors to avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of those assets, increasing the funds available to them to give by as much as 20 percent.
The benchmark S&P 500 Index has tripled over the last eight years and is up more than 70 percent over the past five. As a result, many donors have been able to direct significant assets to their favorite causes. According to Schwab Charitable, two-thirds of its donor-advised fund holders say they give more than they otherwise would because of the convenience and tax efficiency provided by a DAF account.
"This is the third year in a row in which our generous donors recommended more than $1 billion in charitable grants," said Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable. "We are proud to help them create more impact by making giving simple and tax-smart. In the midst of a sustained market rally and with tax reform on the horizon, donors who value cost, tax efficiency, and convenience are using donor-advised funds to maximize their tax benefits and charitable impact simultaneously."