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Fidelity Charitable: Donor Grants Surged 27% in First Half

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What You Need to Know

  • This first-half total is a record and 27% more than in the same period in 2020.
  • Donor-recommended grants went to some 123,000 charities.
  • The numbers suggest that donors are prioritizing generosity in the post-COVID era, Fidelity Charitable's COO says.

Account holders at Fidelity Charitable, a donor-advised-fund sponsor, recommended $4.3 billion in grants this year as of June 30, a record and 27% more than in the same period in 2020.

Fidelity Charitable reported this week that donor-recommended grants went to some 123,000 charities. It said the first-half numbers followed a record-setting $9.1 billion granted in 2020, which represented a 24% increase over the previous year.

“These incredible results suggest that our donors could surpass their record granting in 2020, showing us that people continue to prioritize generosity as we define the ‘new normal,’” Fidelity Charitable’s chief operating officer, Kristen Robinson, said in a statement. 

In its report, Fidelity Charitable spotlighted James Liu, an account holder. Last year, Liu, who is a doctor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, increased support to nonprofit organizations that focus on racial equity, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as well as local charities, many of which focus on Asian communities.

“I do not know anybody of Asian ancestry living in the U.S., especially in my generation, who hasn’t been harassed, teased, bugged or bullied because of what they look like,” Liu told Fidelity Charitable. “I’m tired of it.”

Because of growth over time in his DAF, Liu calculated that he was able to grant 10 times as much money to charities over the five years since he opened the account. 

“It’s my mother’s legacy that I’m using to support these organizations,” Liu said. “These are donations that I would be making even without a giving account, but the giving account helps me give on a much larger scale than before.”