Fidelity Charitable, the nation's largest donor-advised fund program, has announced that incoming contributions reached an all-time high of nearly $2.9 billion in 2011, up 81 percent from the $1.6 billion it received in 2010.
The program also announced that its donors awarded more than 380,000 grants totaling $1.3 billion in 2011, both up 8 percent compared to 2010 and both records for the twenty-year-old program. It was the fifth consecutive year that Fidelity Charitable donors authorized grants totaling more than $1 billion.
With the U.S. stock market recovering from its recession lows, donations in the form of appreciated securities comprised 71 percent of total contributions, up from 51 percent in 2010. Donations of non-publicly traded complex assets such as privately held C- and S-Corp stock, limited partnership interests, and restricted stock also increased 30 percent on a year-over-year basis.
"The degree and momentum of charitable activity we saw from donors in 2011 was extraordinary," said Fidelity Charitable president Sarah Libbey. "Donors — many with guidance from their advisors — are increasingly turning to donor-advised funds to meet their charitable giving needs. Our results reflect our donors' deep commitment to giving and finding strategic ways to do more."