Nearly 6 in 10 Fidelity Charitable® donors plan to give more in 2022 in light of current economic volatility, study says

Nearly 75% of donors report significant concern about individuals in their communities amid ongoing economic pressures

Fifty-seven percent of donors use their donor-advised fund to respond to urgent needs with spontaneous grant recommendations

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite ongoing economic pressures, most Fidelity Charitable® donors plan to give more to charity in 2022. Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity and the nation’s largest grantmaker, today released data illustrating the significant concern donors feel about economic volatility in 2022. Fidelity Charitable has nearly 300,000 donors, with grants made to over 350,000 nonprofits since the charity opened its doors in 1991.

Nearly 75% of Fidelity Charitable donors are concerned about others in their communities and their ability to weather an economic downturn, while 64% are concerned about nonprofits. And these worries are inspiring greater giving; 59% of donors say they are considering giving more to charity 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. “With a ready reserve of funds set aside exclusively for charitable giving, we expect to see that generosity continue through the remainder of 2022.”

Donor-advised funds support responsive giving

While the vast majority of Fidelity Charitable donors use their donor-advised funds to regularly support the same charities, 57% also say they have used their accounts to respond to an emergency situation, such as a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis.

Donor-advised funds enable donors to create a reserve of funds exclusively earmarked for charitable giving, which they can tap to support urgent needs. Donors can make contributions to their funds in more favorable economic times and then recommend grants immediately or over time. This can help insulate donors’ giving from market pressures and create a sustaining source of funding for charities, even when it’s less favorable to give out of pocket.

This structure has enabled greater giving for many, as adoption of the donor-advised fund has grown. According to the study, 67% of Fidelity Charitable donors say they’ve given more to charity than they would have without their donor-advised fund. Half of that group say they can donate more because they are able to give when they want, without having to think about where the money will come from.

Millennials look to the donor-advised fund to help prioritize giving

Donors have a mix of reasons for opening a donor-advised fund. Nearly 9 in 10 donors consider how a donor-advised fund can help them maximize the financial impact of their donations for both themselves and the charities they support—through tax savings and tax-free investment growth of the assets.

Donors of all ages cite financial reasons for opening a donor-advised fund. However, 40% of Millennial donors say they also established a donor-advised fund to regularly set aside money for giving and to make giving a greater priority in their lives, compared to 25% of Gen Xers and 20% of Baby Boomers.

The survey was conducted about Fidelity Charitable donors and how they are approaching charitable giving in light of market conditions in 2022. In July and August 2022, 969 Fidelity Charitable donors were surveyed. For more findings from the research, view the full report here.

About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 357,000 nonprofit organizations with over $61 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable launched the first national donor-advised fund program. The mission of the organization is to grow the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving accessible, simple, and effective. For more information about Fidelity Charitable, visit https://www.fidelitycharitable.org.

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Nabil Ashour

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