January 20, 2022

Schwab Charitable Donors Gave $4.4 Billion to Charity Through 945,000 Grants in 2021

Donors supported 114,000 organizations – the most ever – in a record year for charitable giving

January 20, 2022, SAN FRANCISCOSchwab Charitable™, one of the largest national providers of donor-advised funds and other philanthropic services, reports that its donors supported 114,000 charities in 2021 through 945,000 grants totaling a record $4.4 billion. This represents a 20% increase in dollars granted to charities and a 14% increase in the number of grants to charities compared to 2020.

"After the incredible outpouring of charitable support in 2020, we are humbled and grateful that our donors extended their record-breaking generosity into 2021," said Sam Kang, president of Schwab Charitable. "Our donors showed the power of their generosity with a resolute commitment to increasing support for worthy causes across all sectors and regions. Grants surpassed $4 billion for the first time in Schwab Charitable's history."

Donors take action during times of need

Schwab Charitable donors rose to meet local, national, and global needs in 2021 by increasing the breadth of their giving and providing recipient charities more flexibility through unrestricted grants. Since 2019, Schwab Charitable donors have increased the proportion of grants not designated for a specific purpose. In 2021, these unrestricted grants reached 71% of the total, affording even more nonprofits greater flexibility to put donations toward immediate needs.

Schwab Charitable donors recommended an average of 11 grants throughout the year to 14% more charities than the previous calendar year, and 63% of donors granted to an organization they had not previously supported.

Donors also increased the number of grants to organizations recommended by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) by 13% in 2021 compared to 2020. Schwab Charitable provides donors with lists of CDP-recommended charities supporting relief and recovery efforts for various crises across the world, including wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters, as well as humanitarian and health crises.

Donors were exceptionally active on Giving Tuesday, an annual day of international generosity that took place on November 30, 2021. They recommended more than 17,000 grants to charities, a 280% increase from the daily average in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Innovation helps donors maximize impact

Schwab Charitable's mission is to increase giving in the United States by providing an efficient, tax-smart donor-advised fund solution and offering innovative tools and resources that maximize donors' giving power and, ultimately, inspire them to give more. In 2021, 70% of donors said they give more because of their Schwab Charitable account.

Schwab Charitable increased the efficiency of its platform through technology that speeds funds to charities. In 2021, 82% of grant volume was handled through an automated review and approval process that eliminates manual reviews. Compared to 2020, the number of grants recommended through the Schwab mobile app jumped 32%, and 18% of donors set up recurring grants in 2021.

Schwab Charitable also provides numerous educational tools and resources to support donors, advisors and nonprofits. The Giving with Impact podcast series, developed with Stanford Social Innovation Review, brings together leading voices from across the philanthropic ecosystem to engage in both aspirational and practical conversations on achieving more effective philanthropy. Season 3 of the podcast debuted in June 2021.

Last year, Schwab Charitable created three resources to help donors increase their giving power and help nonprofits build relationships with donor-advised fund account holders:  

  • Schwab Charitable Giving Guide: For donors and their families, Schwab Charitable created the Giving Guide. It was launched in 2021 and offers a complete, interactive giving planner that has already been utilized by thousands of donors and their advisors.
  • Advisor Resource Center: A toolkit for financial advisors was released in November with strategies to help advisors provide clients with a comprehensive structure for developing their giving strategy based on their clients' philanthropic goals and priorities.
  • Fundraising Toolkit for Nonprofits: Schwab Charitable enhanced its dedicated web resources for nonprofits and launched a toolkit for nonprofits at the end of 2021 that offers eight tips for raising funds and growing a donor base with donor-advised fund account holders.

"The Fundraising Toolkit is invaluable," said David A. Brown, President of the Trippley Foundation, an organization serving youth in Chester, PA. "Our organization appreciates the resources provided by the Schwab Charitable team, which have helped our nonprofit prioritize fundraising from donor-advised fund donors. We took immediate action based on tips in the Toolkit and know this will serve us tremendously."

Charitable planning offers benefits

More donors are taking a thoughtful, strategic approach to their charitable giving to achieve maximum philanthropic impact. Financial advisors increasingly offer charitable planning to help clients incorporate philanthropy into their overall financial planning. In 2021, advisors helped support donors who made 74% of all grants throughout the year.

One key consideration for charitable planning is evaluating which assets to give. In 2021, 67% of contributions to Schwab Charitable were in the form of non-cash assets, including publicly traded securities, restricted stock and private business interests1. Donating appreciated non-cash assets to charity allows donors to potentially eliminate capital gains tax they would otherwise incur if they sold the assets first and donated the proceeds, potentially increasing the amount available for charity by up to 20%.

"We are very proud to have supported our donors' historic generosity in 2021," said Fred Kaynor, Managing Director of Business Development, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Schwab Charitable. "We are committed to providing them the most efficient platform to achieve their charitable giving goals for many years to come."

About Schwab Charitable

Schwab Charitable's mission is to increase giving in the U.S. with donor-advised funds and philanthropic services that make charitable giving tax-smart, simple and efficient. We offer tools, guidance and relationships that empower donors to incorporate charitable planning into their everyday lives and make a bigger difference in the world. Since our founding in 1999 as an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, Schwab Charitable donors have granted more than $22 billion to more than 206,000 charities. Visit SchwabCharitable.org for more information.

Schwab Charitable is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund™, an independent nonprofit organization, which has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Schwab Charitable Fund is recognized as a tax-exempt public charity as described in Sections 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1), and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code.

©2022 Schwab Charitable Fund. All rights reserved. 0122-260B

1. Schwab Charitable accepts illiquid assets for contribution on a case-by-case basis and in some cases, liquidation is facilitated by a third party. In 2021, approximately 1% of contributions were non-cash assets liquidated by a third party, received by Schwab Charitable as cash, and reported here as non-cash assets.