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Financial Planning > Charitable Giving > Donor Advised Funds

Donors Plan to Give More Amid Recession Worries: Fidelity Charitable

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What You Need to Know

  • Concern for their communities and nonprofits is driving Fidelity Charitable account holders to consider giving more to charity in 2022.
  • A majority of account holders consider how their donor-advised fund can help maximize the financial effects of their giving for both the charities they support and for themselves.
  • Forty percent of millennials said their DAF helps them regularly set aside money for donations.

Three-quarters of Fidelity Charitable’s account holders are concerned about people in their communities and their ability to weather a recession, and two-thirds are worried about the effects of an economic downturn on nonprofits, according to survey results released Tuesday by the donor-advised fund sponsor.

Fifty-nine percent of donors said that because of these concerns, they are considering giving more to charity in 2022. Only 21% of survey participants said they may give less this year.

“Our donors continue to inspire us with their generosity by stepping up and doing even more to help their communities during these challenging and volatile times,” Fidelity Charitable president Jacob Pruitt said in a statement. “With a ready reserve of funds set aside exclusively for charitable giving, we expect to see that generosity continue through the remainder of 2022.”

Fidelity Charitable conducted the survey in July and August among 969 of its account holders. It found that while the vast majority of Fidelity Charitable donors use their DAFs to regularly support the same charities, 57% have also used their accounts to respond to an emergency situation, such as a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis.

Two-thirds of donors said they have given more to charity than they would have without their donor-advised fund. Half of these said the DAF’s structure enables them to set aside a reserve of funds and tap it to make a donation when they want without having to think about where the money will come from.

Different Approaches to Giving

Donors in the survey expressed a variety of reasons for opening a DAF.

Nine in 10 said they consider how their DAF can help maximize the financial effects of their giving for both the charities they support and for themselves through tax savings and tax-free investment growth of the assets they have set aside.

Aside from the financial reasons for creating DAF accounts, donors of different generations cited other motivations for doing so.

Forty percent of millennials said their DAF helps them regularly set aside money for donations, making giving a bigger priority in their lives. A quarter of Gen Xers and a fifth of baby boomers said the same.

In addition, 28% of Gen Xers and 27% of baby boomers said they put money into a DAF in order to sustain their giving in retirement or when their income is lower. Only 12% of millennials cited this as a motivation for opening a DAF.

Twenty-eight percent of Gen Xers also said they wanted to create a legacy that they can pass on to the next generation. Twenty-two percent of boomers but only 6% of millennials mentioned legacy as a motivator.


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