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Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest donor-advised fund, is challenging its donors to double their grants to reach $200 million by May 5, also known as Giving Tuesday Now, to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fidelity Charitable donors have already recommended more than $100 million in grants from DAF accounts to 4,500 nonprofits in response to the pandemic. March grants increased 36% from the same period a year ago.

“We’re inspired to see this rapid response from our donors, which will help support immediate medical needs, protect vulnerable populations, and sustain nonprofits affected by COVID-19,” said Pamela Norley, President of Fidelity Charitable. “We’re now challenging our donors to hit the $200 million granting mark by Tuesday, May 5, to coincide with #GivingTuesdayNow, organized by our collaborator GivingTuesday.” 

The usual Giving Tuesday, created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, was designed to celebrate generosity on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. GivingTuesdayNow is focused on providing money, goods, time or voice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of “unprecedented need.” 

A Fidelity study of more than 1,840 general donors (not just DAF ones) in March found that donors are responding to the pandemic by maintaining or increasing their charitable giving while reducing their volunteer activity. 

It also found that donors are more likely to donate to organizations close to home rather than internationally, with a focus on offsetting the pandemic’s effects on the economy or health care or both.

Close to half of those surveyed said they expect to continue to support their favorite nonprofits while 25% said they will shift donations to organizations focused on a response to the pandemic. Twenty-five percent of general donors expect to give more this year because of the pandemic, compared to one-third of DAF donors.

Fidelity Charitable donors have made $42 billion in grants to more than 300,000 nonprofits organization since its founding in 1991.

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