Study: Dallas Donates Nearly $100 Million to Charity in 2018, Showing ‘astonishing' Growth in Giving

Dallas-area donors directed $99.9 million in grant money to charities in 2018, with almost two-thirds going to local organizations, according to annual report released Tuesday from Fidelity Investments' humanitarian arm.That amount represented an "astonishing" 30% increase from 2017, far outpacing the nationwide average growth of 16%, the Fidelity Charitable report found. Fidelity Charitable is the largest donor-advised charitable giving fund in the U.S. Fidelity's Geography of Giving study provides insight into the charitable priorities of the 30 largest cities."The number of people in Dallas discovering and using a donor-advised fund has risen dramatically," said Amy Pirozzolo, head of donor engagement at Fidelity Charitable. "I think that coupled with the Hurricane Harvey and floods that you had probably have influenced the number of people giving locally."Thousands of donors contributed an average of $3,216 each over the course of 2018 through Fidelity's donor-advised funds. The funds, which are growing in popularity, allow donors to set up an account, receive an immediate tax deduction and recommend sums of money be donated to charities over time.The Dallas area saw one of the highest rates in the nation of giving to local organizations, such as North Texas Public Broadcasting, the North Texas Food Bank, the SPCA of Texas, the Tarrant Area Food Bank and Southern Methodist University.Donations to two major food banks in North Texas could be related to the significant flooding in the region last fall, Pirozzolo said.Though local public media was the most popular nonprofit for donations, faith-based giving was the strongest sector for North Texas charitable donations overall in 2018. Dallas ranked eighth in the U.S. for its support of the religious sector, with nearly two-thirds of donors giving to at least one faith-based organization, such as the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and places of worship.While organizations furthering civil liberties for women and minorities, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, were among the top 10 most popular for donors nationwide, only Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas cracked the top 10 for Fidelity's Dallas donors.Experts have said North Texans' religiosity, combined with higher discretionary spending, has fueled the region's giving spirit.North Texas Giving Day falls on Sept. 19 this year. That day brought in an eye-opening $48 million for charities in 2018. The Dallas Morning News Charities, which has raised $32 million for local nonprofits since its inception, also raised record amounts last year.Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that allows donors to contribute not just cash, but stock, real estate and other assets and provides assistance to maximize the impact of those contributions. Its donors have supported nonprofits with more than $35 billion in grants.Donor-advised funds have come under some scrutiny recently for the way they award donors an immediate tax break for bundling donations while also allowing them to delay the actual donation as long as they like.Most popular D-FW nonprofits supported by Fidelity CharitableNorth Texas Public BroadcastingNorth Texas Food BankSPCA of TexasTarrant Area Food BankSouthern Methodist UniversityPlanned Parenthood of Greater TexasAmerican Heart AssociationYMCA of Metropolitan DallasJewish Federation of Greater DallasVisiting Nurse Association of Texas  Continue reading...

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