Fidelity Charitable (formerly the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund) has announced record-high contribution volumes and grants awarded for the first six months of 2011.
The nation's largest donor-advised fund program reported a 30 percent increase in contribution volumes through the end of June, a record for the first half of the year, with new contributions totaling $512 million, up 12 percent from $457 million in the first half of 2010. The more than 170,000 grants totaling $604 million awarded during the first half of the year also set a record, up 14 percent from the same period last year. Appreciated securities accounted for 59 percent of total contributions, up from 51 percent during the first six months of 2010, while contributions in the form of complex assets more than tripled, to 8 percent of new contributions.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, Fidelity Charitable reported contributions totaling $1.7 billion and grants totaling more than $1.2 billion, a year-over-year increase of 31 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
"This is record-breaking activity for this time in the year, and it reinforces that donors are starting their charitable planning earlier and that more are recognizing the benefits of donor-advised funds," said Fidelity Charitable president Sarah Libbey. "[The] increasing trend toward donations of non-cash assets illustrates the deepening integration of charitable planning into overall financial planning. This activity, combined with the current giving momentum, points to great progress in this sector."