BOSTON – Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity that uses a donor-advised fund model, saw both incoming contributions to the fund and outgoing grants reach record levels during the first half of 2013.
From January to June, donors contributed a total of $879 million to their accounts, a 7 percent increase from the same period last year. They also recommended about 214,000 grants worth a total of $919 million, with the dollar amount rising 33 percent over the first half of 2012.
Donors also opened up 1,640 new accounts with Fidelity during the first half of this year, a 43 percent jump from the same period in 2012.
Fidelity saw a particular increase in the number of large outgoing grants. Donations of $1 million or more rose 50 percent year to year, contributing to an overall rise in the average grant size — $4,285, 10 percent higher than last year.
“Donors are taking a strategic approach to charitable giving by leveraging their most tax-advantaged assets — like stocks, mutual funds and other long-term appreciated assets — in a way that enables them to give more to the causes they care about,” Sarah Libbey, president of Fidelity Charitable, said in a statement.
The charity said advisors were especially important in assisting many of the donors. More than seven in 10 donations could be tied to advisor referrals during the first half of the year.
Donors funded 43 percent of their contributions via securities, with the rest using cash. Private stock and other non-publicly traded assets made up 5 percent of donations.
Fidelity Charitable also announced Wednesday that Thomas C. Stewart has been elected to its board of trustees. Stewart, a managing principal at Andrew, Thomas & Co., has extensive experience in investment management and board governance. His philanthropic interests include education, veterans’ services and human services.
“The strong tradition of caring for our neighbors through philanthropy is a defining aspect of our country and personally important to me,” Stewart said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting Fidelity Charitable’s work to further the American tradition of philanthropy by offering tools and services that enable donors to become sustained givers and give more to the causes they care about.”