October 13, 2020
From Jack Doyle, Amergent President & CEO
In this pandemic world of 2020, nonprofit organizations are discovering that some Fidelity Charitable donor-advised fund (DAF) grants are not reaching them and they are missing out on some gifts. What’s going on?
Many nonprofit organizations have closed their offices during the pandemic and mail is being forwarded. One large DAF sponsor puts a “Do Not Forward” indicator on the outer envelope, instructing the post office not to forward it because there’s a live check inside and it’s a security issue.
When the check is returned to the DAF sponsor, it is returned to the donor’s account. Fidelity Charitable notifies donors of an “Adjustment Confirmation” – a subject that doesn’t necessarily alert the donor to this specific problem.
And if a donor doesn’t actively read a statement, the donor will miss this and not know that the gift was never received. Fidelity Charitable also needs the charity to actively change its address on file with them, so the charity can properly receive DAF donations. This can simply be done over the phone.
Charities should request to receive gifts via Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) from Fidelity Charitable.
As a nonprofit, you should consider contacting both Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable, providing your tax ID number and asking if any checks have been returned at all in 2020. You can also change your address on file when you contact the DAF sponsors. You can also use a PO Box instead of a street address to avoid this problem.
Donors want to give and enjoy the ease of getting a grant to you with a few clicks. And DAF sponsors like Fidelity Charitable want you to get those grants. Don’t miss out on these DAF gifts – especially this year, when you could probably use them the most.