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Donor-Advised Fund Grants Hit Record - Fidelity Charitable

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , February 15, 2019


Whatever stock markets did last year, DAF-based giving to US and global charities and other non-profits didn't slow down in 2018, figures from the organization show.

Data from US-based Fidelity Charitable showed that people granted a record $5.2 billion from donor-advised funds in 2018, reinforcing recent reports of strong philanthropy figures in recent days.

Grant-making from DAFs – a structure increasingly used in the charity space – was $700 million above the level for 2017, the organization said yesterday. A total of almost 1.3 million grants went to more than 140,000 charitable bodies in the US and rest of the world. 

Donations to impact investing non-profit groups also rose, standing at $22 million in 2018 and almost doubling from 2013’s figure. While small versus the overall amounts contributed, the figures highlight how impact investing remains a theme. (Impact investing is about putting money to work to achieve specific non-financial results, such as cutting crime and poverty, while also hopefully generating a monetary return.)

The charitable dollars in Fidelity Charitable Giving Accounts allocated to impact investments increased by 16 per cent last year to nearly $1 billion. Fidelity Charitable launched three new impact investment pools in 2018.

With philanthropy advice no longer a minor area for wealth managers and their offerings, the upward trend in giving is positive news. Data continues to suggest a broadly solid picture for philanthropy from high net worth and ultra-HNW individuals. As reported last year, average donations given by HNW households rose by 15 per cent to $29,269 in 2017 compared with two years ago, while the percentage of households who give remained high at 90 per cent, according to a recent study by US Trust in partnership with Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Family Wealth Report recently interviewed Morgan Stanley about its philanthropy advice and some of the trends at work. 

A few days ago, figures showed that giving to US colleges and universities has hit a record. 


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