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Schwab Charitable DAF Contributions Increase by 38%

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Schwab Charitable, a donor-advised-fund organization, reported Tuesday that individual account holders had granted $822 million to some 34,500 charities in the 2014 fiscal year, ended June 30.

This was an increase of 38% from the previous fiscal year.

“Our donors have absorbed the new tax policies that took effect in 2013 and they are encouraged by an improving economy and a strong stock market,” Schwab Charitable’s president Kim Laughton said in a statement.

“As a result, they are increasing their giving and supporting a wide range of causes.”

The firm also reported assets under management of $6.4 billion as of June 30. More than 45% of contributions to Schwab Charitable accounts have been granted out to charities since inception.

The number of new DAF accounts grew by 17% in the last fiscal year, Schwab said.

It noted that registered investment advisors have responded to investors’ increased interest in tax-efficient giving by making charitable planning an important part of financial planning and wealth management.

Charles Schwab’s 2014 Independent Advisor Outlook showed charitable planning was one of the top three services offered by RIAs to supplement their core investment advisory business.

It outranked estate planning and fell just behind long-term financial planning and advice on employee-sponsored retirement accounts in the survey of 720 independent advisors representing an estimated $180 billion in assets under management.

“Charitable planning is becoming a natural part of the financial planning and wealth management discussion between independent investment advisors and their clients,” Laughton said.

“Advisors strengthen their relationships with clients by taking part in such decisions because charitable causes and organizations matter a great deal to their clients.”

Expanded Investment Options

Schwab Charitable also announced that it would expand the investment options available to donors by adding a new Income Index Pool in August.

That will bring the number of pools to 14.Ten pools are dedicated to a single asset class, while four are allocated across multiple asset classes.

The underlying mutual fund for the new Income Index Pool is the Dreyfus Bond Market Index Basic (DBIRX), chosen for its strong historical performance and low operating expenses, according to Schwab.

Check out Cheerfully Charitable at Schwab on ThinkAdvisor.