PMA Consulting, LLC

End of Year Brings Big Money to Charities

Annual contributions to the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund topped $1-billion this week – a sign that donor-advised funds are surging as the year comes to an end. The Fidelity fund is close to raising as much money as it did in 2007, before the recession hit. Last year at this time, the money raised was $700-million.

Not all of these institutions are raising as mucn as they did before the recession, but gains of 10 percent or more are being seen over last year. Those gains are much higher than those reported by charities that rely on modest gifts from low and middle-income donors.

Speculation runs rampant that the recent federal income tax debate has kept the charities from collecting even more money. Now that Congress passed a measure to maintaing current income-tax levels until 2012, wealthy Americans on the fence will likely move forward with making end-of-year contributions that help their bottom line as well.

If the economy continues to move forward, we’ll likely see an increase in contributions at all levels.