The Fidelity Charitable donor-advised fund program has become the nation's second-biggest charitable donor after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, giving away $2.6 billion last year, according to a new report.
In its annual Giving Report, Fidelity Charitable said its donor-advised fund program has tripled over the last decade and is now second only to the Gates Foundation in total gifts. Granted, the Fidelity program is a bundler for nearly 120,000 donors. Yet the report highlights just how popular donor-advised funds have become in the philanthropy world, even as they have also become more controversial.
With donor-advised funds, charitable givers donate money to the fund and receive a tax deduction on the gift, but the money is allowed to sit in the account indefinitely. Donor-advised funds have exploded in popularity, surging to over $50 billion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and GoPro founder Nick Woodman have been big donor-advised fund givers, giving more than $1 billion and $500 million, respectively.