U.S./world – Fidelity soars – Fundraising doubles

The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund took in $1.1 billion in 2000, up from $573 million in 1999, trailing only the Salvation Army in funds raised by U.S. charities, The Chronicle of Philanthropy says in its Nov. 1 issue.

Overall, donations to the 400 biggest U.S. charities grew 13 percent last year, the Chronicle says. That’s the same rate of growth as in the previous year.

If it keeps growing at the same pace, Fidelity will claim the top spot from the Salvation Army, which raised $1.4 billion last year and has been the biggest fundraiser for nine straight years, The New York Times reported Oct. 28.

Roughly 5,000 donor-advised funds were set up last year at Fidelity, which now has 30,000 funds, the Times said. This year, 1,500 new donors have created accounts.

Eugene Tempel, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at the Indiana University, told the Times that Fidelity’s growth was “astonishing” and had both negative and positive implications.

“On the negative side, it means that we have new intermediaries, that if the money goes through Fidelity, the donors and the not-for-profits are not interacting directly, so we lost that involvement,” he said.

“But on the positive side, it may extend philanthropy, bringing in people who would not have made gifts if it hadn’t been suggested by a trusted financial adviser.”

For full story, go to The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The New York Times.

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