July 18, 2018

Schwab Charitable Donors Set Granting Records in Fiscal Year 2018

National donor-advised fund surpasses $10 billion in grants since inception

July 18, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO—Schwab Charitable™, one of the largest national providers of donor-advised funds and other philanthropic services, reports a record fiscal year 20181, in which donors recommended over 420,000 grants representing nearly $2 billion in charitable gifts. The dollar total was 20% higher than the prior fiscal year and helped donors reach $10 billion in recommended grants to over 130,000 charities since Schwab Charitable’s inception almost 20 years ago.

"Our exceptional donors distributed more money to charity this fiscal year than ever before. Year after year, we are proud to honor our mission of increasing charitable giving in the United States by offering donors simple, tax-efficient tools and expert guidance that help them reach their philanthropic goals," said Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable. "We are energized by our donors'desire to make a positive impact on the world and proud they have reached a remarkable $10 billion in recommended grants since our founding."

Schwab Charitable Donors Provide Active Support in Fiscal Year 2018

In fiscal year 2018, Schwab Charitable donors recommended 36% more grants than in the prior fiscal year and supported 78,000 charities. The most widely supported charities were: Feeding America, The Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, The Salvation Army and Doctors Without Borders.

"Strong market performance, disaster relief and uncertainty about tax reform drove giving in the second half of 2017," continued Laughton. "Despite the volatile start to 2018, donors continue to rely on the convenience and tax efficiency of their donor-advised fund accounts to give highly appreciated assets to charity. And while time will tell how the new tax law affects charitable giving, the strong start to 2018 suggests that our philanthropically-minded donors will continue giving generously even in this new tax and market environment."

Throughout the fiscal year, half (50%) of existing account holders re-contributed to their donor-advised fund, and robust giving continued in the first half of the calendar year. From January through June 2018, Schwab Charitable donors recommended over $925 million in grants, 40% more than the same period last year.

Tax reform creates new opportunities for donors

Giving appreciated investments to charity continues to have significant potential benefits under the new tax code. By contributing non-cash assets that have been held for more than one year to a donor-advised fund, individuals can potentially increase the amount available for charity by up to 20% compared to selling the assets and donating the proceeds. Awareness of these benefits continues to grow: in fiscal year 2018, three quarters (74%) of contributions to Schwab Charitable were non-cash assets.

The new tax law may also present an opportunity for the increasing number of donors who otherwise might take the standard deduction to concentrate their charitable giving every few years so that they can itemize and get the full tax benefit from their charitable gifts. A donor-advised fund makes it simple to apply this strategy and maintain support for donors’ favorite causes.

By increasing the convenience and tax efficiency of charitable giving, Schwab Charitable helps individuals maximize their philanthropic impact. Over two-thirds (68%) of Schwab Charitable donors say they give more than they otherwise would have because they have a donor-advised fund account2. Schwab Charitable also enables donors to invest assets in their donor-advised fund account for tax-free growth ahead of future granting, with the goal of increasing the amount available for grants to charity over time. Since Schwab Charitable's inception, investment growth has generated almost $3 billion in additional funds to support philanthropy.

About Schwab Charitable

Schwab Charitable is a donor-advised fund established as a service for individual investors to help increase their charitable giving. Since its inception in 1999, Schwab Charitable has facilitated over $10 billion in grants to approximately 131,000 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 fund 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, including a short video describing the benefits of donor-advised funds, visit schwabcharitable.org.

A donor's ability to claim itemized deductions is subject to a variety of limitations depending on the donor’s specific tax situation. Consult your tax advisor 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. Contributions made to Schwab Charitable Fund are considered an irrevocable gift and are not refundable. Please be aware that Schwab Charitable has exclusive legal control over the assets you have contributed. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is correct, Schwab Charitable cannot guarantee its accuracy. This information is not provided to the IRS.

1. Fiscal Year 2018 refers to July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.

2. 2017 survey of Schwab Charitable donors.

2018 Giving Report Infographic