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Financial Planning > Charitable Giving

Ranking of funds and causes

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The level of American charitable giving continues to be higher than 2 percent of GDP, which charity groups take as a positive sign, especially during tough times. The National Philanthropic Trust ( keeps an eye on the largest foundations, trusts, funds and causes.

Here is a list of the five largest donor advised funds (by assets):

1. Fidelity Charitable Gift Trust: ($1.9 billion)

2. Schwab Charitable Fund: ($855 million)

3. Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program: ($784 million)

4. National Philanthropic Trust: ($660 million)

5. National Christian Charitable Foundation: ($490 million)

Source: The Non Profit Times

The Trust also provides a list of the five most popular causes Americans give to:

1. Religious/Faith-Based ($102.3 billion)

2. Education ($43.3 billion)

3. Human Services ($29.64 billion)

4. Health ($23.15 billion)

5. Public-society benefit ($22.65 billion)

Source: Giving USA 2008, published by American Association of Fundraising Counsel