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January 29, 2016

Fidelity Charitable Grants Topped $3 Billion in 2015

Donor-advised fund Fidelity Charitable doled out $3.1 billion to nonprofit groups last year, reports The Boston Globe. The fund, an arm of Boston-based Fidelity Investments, made 733,000 grants on behalf of contributors in 2015, benefiting about 106,000 charities.

Fidelity Charitable manages about 80,000 funds for donors, who receive an immediate tax break for contributions of cash, stock, or other assets. Increasingly popular among philanthropists of varying wealth, donor-advised funds face no restrictions on the speed or amount of their distributions, fueling criticism that they are effectively tax-deductible parking lots for money that could be put to quicker charitable use.

Fidelity officials say the funds "democratize" giving, and because donations are irrevocably committed to philanthropy they are immune to market fluctuations that can impact donors' largesse on a year-to-year basis.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on overall giving trends in 2015.