Schwab Charitable, a donor-advised-fund provider, reported $2.2 billion in grants to 86,500 nonprofit groups in 2018, up 35% from the previous year. The organization’s donors recommended some 487,000 grants, a 32% increase from 2017.
In a statement, the organization said Feeding America, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, The Salvation Army and Campus Crusade for Christ were the most widely supported grant recipients last year.
Through year-end, donors continued to contribute to their DAF accounts, invest the money to increase their charitable impact and recommend grants to their favorite charities, the report said.
This is not surprising. A recent study indicated that DAFs experienced growth in every key charitable giving benchmark in 2017, extending a multi-year trend.
Schwab Charitable said that despite worries about the potential effect of tax reform and the December market correction, its donors gave at historic levels. Just in the fourth quarter, they recommended more than 210,600 grants totaling $807 million, compared with 163,600 grants totaling $655 million in the same period a year earlier.
“Our extraordinary donors demonstrated that giving can flourish in a range of tax and market environments,” Schwab Charitable’s president, Kim Laughton, said in the statement.
“Under the new tax law, charitable giving is a relative bright spot for donors who itemize because the charitable deduction was preserved while several other popular deductions were capped or eliminated.”
The Schwab Charitable report noted that 67% of contributions to donor accounts last year were in the form of noncash assets. It said that by contributing appreciated assets held for a year or more to a DAF, individuals could also potentially increase the amount available for charity by as much as 20%, as opposed to selling the assets and donating the proceeds.
Some donors also opted to concentrate their charitable contributions in 2018 by donating a few years of gifts to their DAFs. This is also known as a “bunching” strategy.
Schwab Charitable reached a new milestone in 2018. “Schwab Charitable was founded 20 years ago to make charitable giving more simple and tax-efficient for donors,” Laughton said. “From the start, our mission has been to increase charitable giving in the United States.”
Since inception, upward of $11 billion in grants have gone to more than 142,000 causes and charities.