Fidelity Gift Fund Reports Surge in Grant Contributions

This was the strongest first half in the Gift Fund's 19-year history

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Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund's (Gift Fund) donors made more than 152,000 grants totaling $531 million to nonprofits nationwide during the first half of 2010, a 27% and 16% increase, respectively, compared to the same period last year, the Gift Fund reported Wednesday, August 11.

The Gift Fund also experienced growth of 67% in incoming contributions and a 19% increase in new Giving Account openings. According to the news release, the stock markets 14% return within the past 12 months resulted in more appreciated securities contributions in the first half of 2010 because donors wanted to meet their philanthropic goals through tax planning.

The Gift Fund's charitable activity remained strong at the end of their fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 with a total of $1.3 billion in incoming contributions, up 39 % from the previous fiscal year and donor recommended grants totaled $1.1 billion. Additionally, the Gift Fund ended its fiscal year with nearly $4.4 billion.

"Our donors continue to give at record levels, reflecting their ongoing commitment to supporting the causes important to them as well as to responding to unforeseen charitable needs, such as the crisis in Haiti," said Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Gift Fund. "It's heartening that more donors are recognizing that having donor-advised funds, such as those at the Gift Fund, provides a ready reserve so that they can strategically plan, contribute and grant, based on their personal philanthropic mission."

While reporting significant increases in grant contributions, the Gift Fund also announced Kristin Mugford's election to its Board of Trustees. Mugford is a managing director for Bain Capital, a global private investment group in Boston. She also plays an active role in the community as chair for the Children's Hospital Boston Board of Overseers and a member on the Sage School Board of Trustees and on the Investment Committee of Rosie's Place.

"Having been active in a number of philanthropic efforts over the years, I am often asked about the best vehicles for charitable giving," said Mugford. "I look forward to advancing the Gift Fund's mission of helping individuals fulfill their philanthropic objectives by employing useful, intelligent vehicles like the Giving Account, and through information and education for donors."

Read a story about Fidelity's poll on charitable giving and taxes from the archives of InvestmentAdvisor.com.

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