Schwab Charitable Reports Record Grants in 2017 Amid Unique Charitable Giving Landscape
Tax reform, strong markets and disaster relief contributed to historic granting levels
January 23, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO—Schwab Charitable™, one of the largest national providers of donor-advised funds and other philanthropic services, facilitated more than $1.6 billion in grants to 71,000 charities in 2017. Schwab Charitable donors recommended approximately 368,000 grants, up 35% from 2016.
The new federal tax legislation and strong market performance helped make 2017 a truly historic year for charitable giving. Over 70% of contributions into Schwab Charitable accounts were highly appreciated, non-cash assets such as publicly-traded securities, restricted stock and real estate. By giving these assets to charity, donors were able to maximize their charitable impact by avoiding capital gains tax, which means potentially even more funds going to the causes they support.
Charitable giving peaked in the second half of the year as equity1 and real estate prices2 reached all-time highs, and the tax bill moved through Congress to the President’s desk. From July through December, the number of new accounts opened at Schwab Charitable jumped 91% compared to the same period in 2016. In the same timeframe, Schwab Charitable donors recommended approximately 230,000 grants representing over $900 million. There were over $20 million in grants for crisis relief efforts in response to a record number of natural disasters, including major hurricanes, earthquakes and the California wildfires.3
"A combination of factors created a one-of-a-kind giving environment last year, and we're thrilled that our efficient, tax-smart solution helped donors maximize the impact of their generosity," said Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable. "The changes to the tax code this year have made it even more important for donors and their financial advisors to plan giving over several years in order to fulfill their personal philanthropic mission and make the most of tax deductions at the same time."
Schwab Charitable enables donors to increase their impact by enabling them to group charitable deductions in higher income years and maintain support for their favorite causes in years that may not be ideal for itemizing a charitable deduction. Donors also 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. Schwab Charitable accounts offer 14 diversified investment pool options, and larger accounts may recommend registered investment advisors to manage their portfolios.4 Since Schwab Charitable’s inception, investment growth has generated over $2.9 billion in additional funds to support our clients' philanthropy.
Schwab Charitable offers donors the flexibility to research and support more than 1.5 million charities. In 2017 donors expanded their giving priorities in response to the unprecedented natural disasters, as well as a changing political environment, and the needs of America’s most vulnerable citizens. Feeding America, the Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, Salvation Army and Doctors Without Borders were among the most widely supported charities in 2017. For more details on the generosity of our donors in 2017, read our Annual Giving Report.
By increasing the convenience and tax efficiency of charitable giving, Schwab Charitable helps donors maximize the impact of their philanthropy and potentially give even more to worthy causes that are most meaningful to them. 67% of Schwab Charitable donors say they give more than they otherwise would because they have a donor-advised fund account5, and more than 90% of contributions into Schwab Charitable accounts are fully distributed to charity within 10 years.
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 $9 billion in grants to approximately 123,000 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.
Based on the closing price, adjusted for dividends and splits, of the S&P 500® stock market index on December 18, 2017.
S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index as of July 2017 and Green Street Advisors U.S. Commercial Property Price Index as of August 2017.
The New York Times, These Billion-Dollar Natural Disasters Set a U.S. Record in 2017, Jan. 8, 2018.
Professionally-managed accounts are available only through independent investment advisors working with Schwab Advisor Services™, a business segment of The Charles Schwab Corporation serving independent investment advisors and including the custody, trading and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Although donors may recommend an advisor, Schwab Charitable must approve the recommendation. Advisors must meet certain eligibility requirements and adhere to Schwab Charitable fee and investment guidelines. You may request a copy of the investment guidelines by calling (800) 746-6216.
2017 year-end survey of Schwab Charitable donors.