Fidelity Charitable Awarded $1.5 Billion in First Half of Year

has announced that its donor-advised funds recommended grants totaling nearly $1.5 billion to charities during the first half of 2015, a 33 percent increase over the same period last year.

During the first half of 2015, Fidelity Charitable donors recommended a record 310,000 grants in support of more than 69,000 charities, with an average grant amount of $4,700, up from $4,330 in the first half of 2014. The number of grants of at least $1 million increased by 60 percent, to 166, with grants that size totaling $119 million.

"The acceleration of granting reflects our donors' active approach to philanthropy," said Fidelity Charitable president Amy Danforth. "Our program relieves donors of much of the administration associated with giving so they can focus their energy on the most fulfilling part of philanthropy, recommending grants to support their favorite causes."

Fidelity Charitable also released updated information for donors seeking to support recovery efforts in earthquake-ravaged Nepal. lists shelter, sanitation and public health, health facilities, women's health, child nutrition, and education as the areas of greatest need in the country, as identified by nonprofits working on the ground there. Through June 30, Fidelity Charitable made almost six thousand donor-recommended grants totaling nearly $7.8 million for Nepal relief efforts.

"In fluid situations like the Nepal recovery efforts, timely information empowers donors to take action," said Matt Nash, senior vice president of donor engagement at Fidelity Charitable. "Nearly one-third of our grants designated for Nepal relief were directly linked to the giving guidance we posted two days after the first earthquake. We hope this new information will again help donors confidently support the cause."

"." Fidelity Charitable Press Release 07/15/2015.