Fidelity Charitable granted some $2 billion, including $9 million in bitcoin, on behalf of its donor-advised-fund account holders in the first six months of 2017, a 25% increase over the first half of last year.
This continued a trend from 2016 during which donors recommended granting a record-breaking $3.5 billion to support more than 114,000 nonprofit organizations, Fidelity Charitable reported Tuesday.
Grantees were mainly smaller local groups. In 2016, $1.8 billion of grant dollars when to nonprofits in donors’ home states.
Seventy-two percent of the 849,000 grants that donors recommended last year were for charities they had previously supported.
The report said the annual list of popular nonprofits, ones that receive support from 1,000 or more giving accounts, expanded from 21 to 30 charities last year.
Many groups on the list appear year after year at a relatively similar position. In the latest iteration, Doctors Without Borders USA and The Salvation Army held on to the number one and two spots, while The American Red Cross and The United Way exchanged places for third and fourth positions.
Several charities moved up on the list in response to the November general election: Planned Parenthood jumped three spots to number seven.
At the same time, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Natural Resources Defense Council came onto the list for the first time.
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, donations increased to Doctors Without Borders and International Rescue Committee, which made its first appearance on the list.
In November, IRC became the first global organization to be named to the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.
“Donor-advised funds are an ideal way for people to make a difference because they help donors stay nimble to immediately respond to unforeseen world events, while maintaining their commitment to their core giving interests,” Fidelity Charitable president Pam Norley said in a statement.