Fidelity Charitable Reports $2.1 Billion in 2013 Grants From Donor-Advised Funds

, the nation's largest donor-advised fund program, has announced that it awarded a record $2.1 billion in grants in 2013, up some 29 percent on a year-over-year basis.

More than 518,000 grants were awarded to 80,000 charities, with human services, religion, and education ranking among the top issue areas in terms of the number of grants and total grant dollar amounts. The latter was boosted in part by a 47 percent increase in the number of grants of $1 million or more, which also pushed the average grant size up 6 percent, to more than $4,000.

While contributions to the program were flat on a year-over-year basis, at $3.6 billion, 62 percent of those contributions were in the form of appreciated assets, up from 54 percent in 2012, while so-called complex assets such as interest in a private business or other non-publicly traded assets also increased their share, accounting for 17 percent of contributions to the program, up from 11 percent in 2012. In addition, the number of donor-advised funds established rose 20 percent on a year-over-year basis, down a dozen percentage points from the 11 percent increase reported in 2012.

"It's gratifying to see our donors actively support nonprofits throughout the year as they use their charitable accounts to both implement their giving plan and respond to appeals," said Fidelity Charitable president Sarah Libbey. "We're also happy to see more nonprofits are recognizing donor-advised fund donors in their appeals as they are exactly the type of active, committed givers nonprofits want to attract and retain."

"." Fidelity Charitable Press Release 01/28/2014.