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The Philanthropy Top 10

Giving is changing to the non-profit world.  It used to be that United Way, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army were perennial locks for the top 10 in annual gifts to non-profits.

But the last 20 years have seen the rise of donor advised fund organizations.  A donor advised fund allows donors to make a gift to their fund first before distributing to charity.  As a result the top 10 non-profits now includes 4 donor advised fund organizations:  the National Christian Foundation, Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Notably, for the first time, Fidelity supplanted United Way as the top recipient of contributions.  Fidelity received $4.6 billion in contributions, which was up 20% from the year before.  On the other hand, United Way weighed in at $3.7 billion in contributions which was a decline of 4%.

At $1.4 billion in contributions, the National Christian Foundation ranked 9th.  Perhaps most significantly, NCF has virtually more account holders than any other donor advised fund organization.  This means that NCF serves donors large and small and continues to have one of the highest distribution rates of any donor advised fund in the industry.

In the coming years, as more wealth passes, it is likely that groups like NCF will continue to grow.  Donor advised funds provide simplicity to the donor and flexibility in timing their gifts.  Increasingly, donors are using their donor advised funds to handle non traditional gifts like real estate and closely held stock.

About Bill High

Bill High is an author of several books and co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: www.givingitallawaybook.com. You can find him at www.billhigh.com and sign up for his blogs there.

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