Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable, the country’s two largest donor-advised-fund sponsors, have reported big increases in grant making in 2014 over the year before.
In a statement released Monday, Fidelity Charitable said it had made some 620,000 donor-recommended grants in 2014 totaling nearly $2.6 billion, a 24% increase from 2013.
The average grant size increased slightly from 2013 to $4,100. DAF account holders recommended 277 grants of $1 million or more totaling $612 million, an 18% year-over-year increase in mega grants.
Fidelity said donors used their DAFs to support planned giving and urgent needs, notably Ebola relief for which they recommended $5.5 million through more than 1,000 grants.
Schwab Charitable last week reported $928 million in grants on behalf of its donors, a 25% increase over 2013.
It said some 48,000 charities benefited from the gifts, with the largest number of individual grants going to health and human services, religious causes and education.
Among the most widely supported charities by Schwab account holders in 2014 were Doctors Without Borders, Wounded Warrior Project, The Salvation Army, and local public radio and television stations.
Schwab said 71% of contributions into DAF accounts last year were appreciated investments or assets, such as public company stock, real estate or private business interests.
In its report, Fidelity Charitable said a recent survey had shown that its DAF account holders were highly committed to donating time, with 79% having volunteered in the past year and 67% of volunteers committing more than 50 hours to their favorite charities.