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Kim Laughton, President Of Schwab Charitable. (Photo: Business Wire)

Stocks in this article: SCHW

Schwab Charitable™, one of the largest national donor-advised funds, reported $742 million in donations to charities in 2013, a 36% increase compared to 2012 and the largest percentage increase in more than five years. Grants to charities ranged in size from 50 dollars to 10 million dollars, and went to more than 41,000 charities spanning a wide range of causes. The largest charitable sectors supported include education, health and human services, social benefit and religion, and substantial increases were seen across all sectors.

Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable. (Photo: Business Wire)

Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable. (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are thrilled to have seen another robust giving season,” says Kim Laughton, President of Schwab Charitable. “A strong stock market provided a double boost to giving in 2013. Many of our clients had more windfalls from appreciated assets in their portfolios to share with their favorite charities. In addition, the value of the investments in their donor-advised accounts also grew, making more funds available for granting. I am consistently amazed by the generosity of our donors, and I am happy that donor-advised funds can dramatically simplify the process of giving to enable that generosity.”

The surge in grants to charity peaked during the fourth quarter giving season, with the value of grants up 53% and the number of grants up 37% over the same period last year. This in turn drove the total amount granted from Schwab Charitable accounts since the national donor-advised fund’s inception past the $4 billion mark.

More than 65% of assets contributed into Schwab Charitable accounts in 2013 were appreciated assets, another five-year high. When appreciated assets, such as publicly traded stock and mutual funds, real estate or privately held shares in a business, are transferred to a donor-advised account, donors receive an immediate tax deduction and also do not pay capital gains tax on the sale of assets. As a result, donors can have as much as 25% more to give to their favorite charities and the charities are spared the administrative burden of accepting and liquidating the assets.

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