January 22, 2019

Schwab Charitable Reports Record Grants in 2018

Donor-advised fund marks 20th anniversary with more than $11 billion granted to charity since inception

January 22, 2019, SAN FRANCISCO—Schwab Charitable™, one of the largest national providers of donor-advised funds and other philanthropic services, reported a record $2.2 billion in grants to 86,500 charities in 2018, representing a 35% increase from the previous year. Schwab Charitable donors recommended more than 487,000 grants, up 32% from 2017. Feeding America, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, Salvation Army, and Campus Crusade for Christ were the most widely supported grant recipients last year.

Through the end of 2018, Schwab Charitable donors continued to contribute to their donor-advised fund accounts, invest those dollars to increase their charitable impact, and recommend grants to their favorite charities. Despite concerns over the potential impact of tax reform and the year-end market correction, donors gave at historic levels. Just in the last three months of the year, donors recommended more than 210,600 grants totaling $807 million, up from 163,600 grants totaling $655 million in Q4 2017.

"Our extraordinary donors demonstrated that giving can flourish in a range of tax and market environments," said Kim Laughton, President of Schwab Charitable. "Under the new tax law, charitable giving is a relative bright spot for donors who itemize because the charitable deduction was preserved while several other popular deductions were capped or eliminated."

Donors maximize their charitable impact with tax efficient non-cash donations

Individuals who own appreciated investments held for a year or more have an opportunity to potentially unlock significant tax benefits by donating them to charity. More than two-thirds (67%) of contributions to Schwab Charitable accounts were in the form of non-cash assets last year. By contributing appreciated assets held for a year or more to a donor-advised fund, individuals can also potentially increase the amount available for charity by up to 20% compared to selling the assets and donating the proceeds. The most popular assets contributed in 2018 included publicly-traded securities, restricted stock, real estate and privately held business interests.

Some donors also opted to concentrate, or "bunch", their charitable contributions in 2018 by donating a few years of gifts to their donor-advised funds. Concentrating charitable contributions can allow donors to maximize their tax benefits by giving enough to make it advantageous to itemize deductions every few years and then benefit from taking the new higher standard deduction in other years. Donor-advised funds make it easy to contribute various amounts each year but maintain a consistent level of granting to charities of their choice at their convenience.

Schwab Charitable celebrates giving milestones on 20th anniversary

Thanks to the remarkable, sustained generosity of its donors, Schwab Charitable reached a new milestone in 2018. Since inception, over $11 billion in grants have been made to over 142,000 worthy causes and charities.

Schwab Charitable helps individuals maximize their philanthropic impact over the long term. In addition to making it simpler and easier to contribute tax-advantaged appreciated assets, donors can invest contributed funds for potential tax-free growth, with the goal of increasing the amount available for grants to charity over time.

"Schwab Charitable was founded 20 years ago to make charitable giving more simple and tax-efficient for donors. From the start, our mission has been to increase charitable giving in the United States," said Laughton. "Our donors are fulfilling this mission through their incredible commitment to improving the world by using a donor-advised fund to help them maximize their charitable impact. I am humbled by the immense difference they have made both within communities and around the globe in just twenty years."

About Schwab Charitable

Schwab Charitable is a donor-advised fund established as a service for individual investors to help increase their charitable giving. 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.