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Financial Planning > Charitable Giving > Donor Advised Funds

Fidelity Charitable Donors Step Up Funding for COVID-19 Relief

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A month ago Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest donor-advised fund, challenged its donors grant at least $200 million by May 5 to nonprofits responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it reports they have more than met that challenge, doubling the amount of funds targeting those charities.

Related: Fidelity Charitable Challenges Its Donors to Give More)

Donors to Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest donor-advised fund, have granted more than $236 million to such nonprofits, helping to support over 9,600 charities. Moreover, they have granted a total $2.5 billion year to date, which is 18% more than during the same period last year.

“The $2.5 billion in grants from our donors so far this year will go a long way in helping sustain all nonprofits through this crisis and beyond,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable. “We believe our donors will continue to act generously as the needs facing the nonprofit community and society at large have never been greater.”

But the number of charitable donors is declining overall, according to a new survey from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Of 630 U.S. adults surveyed from April 17 to 20 who had given at least $20 to charity in 2019, one-fifth said they won’t be giving to charities until the economy recovers and 53% said they will be giving “more carefully” than before. A little over a quarter (28%) expected to maintain their level of donations.

A Fidelity Charitable study conducted in March of 1,842 adults in the U.S. who had donated at least $1,000 to charity in 2019, however, found almost the opposite: 54% expected to maintain their level of donations while 24% expected to increase them. But the study also found that among nonprofit employees who were surveyed — a subset of respondents — 95% said the coronavirus pandemic had impacted their ability to deliver programming, fundraise or engage volunteers.

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