The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund reported on Wednesday that its donors made more than 152,000 grants totaling $531 million during the first six months of 2010, the strongest first half for outgoing grants in the Gift Fund's 19-year history.
With the stock market returning 14 percent over the past 12 months, incoming contributions were very strong, up 67 percent over the last year, said Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Gift Fund. "At first blush this may seem surprising," said Libbey in a phone interview on Wednesday. "But there are a couple factors contributing to the growth: the ability for donors to use appreciated securities in their portfolio to take advantage of tax strategies and the trend of donors looking for alternatives to private foundations."
In the first six months of 2010, appreciated securities represented 51 percent of the fund's total incoming contributions, up from 32 percent in the first six months of 2009.