FA Magazine July/August 2021 - Page 16

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Pandemic Causes ‘ Pronounced ’ Changes In Philanthropy

The covid-19 pandemic has left its mark on a lot of areas , including philanthropy . donors have taken a more personal interest in what causes they support , while charities are rethinking the types of appeals they make , according to people who work in philanthropy . the takeaway is this : the trends that have emerged

in the past year and a half will impact the shape of philanthropy going forward .
“ the shifts we are seeing are more pronounced than any i have ever seen ,” says amy Pirozzolo , head of donor engagement for fidelity charitable . the needs created by the pandemic , the calls for racial justice and the economic upheaval that hit the world last year — all these things coalesced to spur a 5.1 % increase in giving in 2020 to $ 471.4 billion , according to the giving Usa foundation . schwab charitable reported a 19 % increase in both the number of grants and the dollar amount granted through its donor-advised funds from the same period the year before . most donors say they will increase their giving even more this year and want to support a charity they have not given to previously , says fred Kaynor , schwab charitable ’ s vice president of
feeding America and World Central Kitchen are among the rising-star charities that have attracted philanthropic dollars during the pandemic .
business development and marketing .
He notes that more people are also scheduling recurring gifts and aren ’ t putting restrictions on their gifts , which gives the charities more flexibility . in addition , charities are finding new ways to operate because most in-person fund-raising events were canceled last year . “ the charities are doing creative things to make sure donors are adapting ,” Kaynor says . “ as horrible a time as the pandemic was , we are seeing some pretty inspiring things come out of it .” schwab charitable has seen — and taken part in — a significant increase in collaboration between donors and recipients . for example , Kaynor says , schwab is working with community foundations to increase donors ’ access to local organizations . the onset of the pandemic brought out a streak of generosity in donors , says rebecca moffett , chief strategic planning officer at vanguard charitable . vanguard grant giving increased by 22 % in 2020 , to $ 1.8 billion , and the donor-advised fund sponsor says it ’ s on track this year to meet or exceed that . vanguard charitable saw a 150 % rise in giving to programs for the homeless during the pandemic , and moffett believes that was attributable to an overall increase in giving and not just a shift from other areas . elsewhere , she notes that feeding america and world central Kitchen are among the rising-star charities that have attracted philanthropic dollars during the pandemic . as more donors turned to vanguard charitable for assistance in targeting their donations , the fund developed a tool called the nonprofit aid visualizer , or navi , a web-based program to help potential donors find charities by geography or mission . that program is available to the public .
“ the desire to pinpoint donations is going to continue into the future ,” moffett says . “ we have seen the movement toward customizing donations .” fidelity ’ s Pirozzolo echoes that thought . “ to be successful , nonprofits need to recognize that donors want to be more involved in their causes , and they want to bring their networks of friends to the cause with them ,” she says . “ this will have a profound impact on how advisors start the philanthropic conversation . they should start with the client ’ s values and then see how those values can be fulfilled .
— Karen DeMasters
12 | financial advisor magazine | JUlY / aUgUst 2021 www . fa-mag . com