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

Top researchers associated with Giving USA 2014 shared highlights of the newly released report on American philanthropy at an event hosted by Schwab Charitable in San Francisco. The annual report by Giving USA Foundation shows gifts to charity from American individuals rose again in 2013 over 2012 levels.

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

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

Amid this growth, national donor-advised funds continued to play a growing role in facilitating simple, tax-smart charitable giving. According to Schwab Charitable, grants from the nation’s largest donor-advised funds increased substantially more in 2013 over the prior year. Schwab Charitable experienced a 36% increase in granting, helping donors give $742 million to more than 41,000 charities. The sectors that received the most charitable support included education, health and human services, social benefit and religion, and substantial increases were seen across all sectors.

“Donor-advised funds helped make giving easy, impactful, and sustainable for many Americans last year,” said Kim Laughton, president, Schwab Charitable. “Strong appreciation in assets and changes to the tax code made 2013 a great year to give. This year, as the economy continues to improve, donors feel they have even more breathing room. They are taking the time to create philanthropic strategies both individually and in cooperation with their financial advisors. We increasingly see charitable giving incorporated into regular discussions about financial planning and wealth management. Donor-advised funds are also becoming more popular vehicles to facilitate giving while living and to establish a legacy effectively.”

In 2013, more than 65% of assets contributed into Schwab Charitable accounts were appreciated assets, another five-year high. “With the stock markets remaining strong in 2014, we expect continued interest in donating appreciated stock and more complex assets, including shares in public and private companies and seasoned private equity and hedge fund interests.”

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