SAN FRANCISCO — Schwab Charitable, one of the largest national donor-advised funds, reported an historic $1.06 billion in grants to charities by its donors in fiscal year 2015. This represents a 30% increase over the prior fiscal year, which is more than four times the rate of increase in total giving in the US in 20142.
Schwab Charitable’s exceptionally generous donors continued giving to their preferred causes and were also extremely supportive of major crises that arose during the fiscal year. They donated to more than 42,000 charitable organizations, and made the largest number of individual grants to charities focused on health & human services, religion and education. More than $2 million went to relief efforts in Nepal following the devastating earthquake that took place in that region. These donations helped organizations like Doctors Without Borders, American Red Cross and Oxfam deliver much needed resources including critical medical care, temporary shelter, food, and clothing.
“Our donors showed incredible generosity again this fiscal year,” says Kim Laughton, President of Schwab Charitable. “As we surpass $1 billion in grants, it is clear that donors are focused on making a material difference in the lives of others through their sustained philanthropic efforts. Our mission is to facilitate this process for them by providing a simple, tax-smart and flexible solution to charitable giving.”
In fiscal year 2015, 68% of contributions into Schwab Charitable donor-advised fund accounts were appreciated investments or assets. These included publicly traded and restricted stock, real estate, and interests in private businesses (C-Corp and S-Corp), private equity, venture capital funds, and hedge funds. Donors who give appreciated assets that have been held for more than one year directly to public charities (including donor-advised funds) can generally claim the full, fair market value as a charitable contribution and will not owe capital gains tax on the sale of the assets. This can result in donors having up to 20% more to give to charity than if they sold the asset first and then donated the cash proceeds. Schwab Charitable handles the liquidation of the assets, relieving donors and the receiving charities of the associated administrative burden.
In addition to the immediate benefits, Schwab Charitable also allows individuals to invest their account balances over time with the goal of increasing the amount available for grants to charity. Standard Schwab Charitable accounts offer 14 diversified investment pools, and larger accounts may recommend registered investment advisors to manage their portfolios3. Since Schwab Charitable’s inception, investment growth has raised an incremental $1 billion to support our clients’ philanthropy. More than 90% of contributions into Schwab Charitable accounts have been distributed to charity within 10 years, and more than 95% of those gifts have included the donors’ names. Charities may now also accept donor-advised fund gifts directly from their websites by downloading the DAF Direct widget.
About Schwab Charitable
Schwab Charitable is a donor-advised fund established as a service for individual investors to help increase their charitable giving. Since inception, Schwab Charitable has facilitated approximately $5.5 billion in grants to more than 96,000 charities on behalf of its donors. Schwab Charitable serves a wide range of investors and has been a pioneer in enabling registered investment advisors to manage the investments of donor-advised accounts. Schwab Charitable also offers a private foundation conversion service for private foundations considering a donor-advised fund as a complementary or alternative charitable vehicle. For more information, visit schwabcharitable.org.