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Fidelity charitable fund posts best quarter

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The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund reported the strongest first quarter for contributions and grants in its 19-year history, with contributions more than doubling and grants growing by over one-third.

The Gift Fund, the largest donor-advised fund in the U.S. and the third-largest public charity, also exceeded $10 billion in grants recommended by donors since it was formed in 1991.

Gifts to the Gift Fund in the first quarter grew $109 percent to $270 million from the same period in 2008, while grants recommended by donors grew 35 percent to $269 million.

Helping to fuel the increase in grants from the Gift Fund and contributions to it were the outpouring of donor support in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti and a dramatic rise in contributions in the form of appreciated securities.

The fund made over 10,000 grants totaling over $14 million to groups providing assistance to relief efforts in Haiti.

And contributions in the form of appreciated securities represented 46 percent of total contributions to the Gift Fund, up from 27 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

“As the economy showed signs of improvement and the tragic situation in Haiti became a crisis, our donors broke new records in their enthusiasm for giving,” Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Gift Fund, says in a statement.

New giving accounts established at the Gift Fund grew 145 percent from the same period last year.

The Gift Fund now has made over $10 billion in grants to over 136,000 nonprofits.

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