Schwab Charitable Named California’s Largest Fundraising Charity and Among the Nation’s Top Ten

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 5:45 am PST



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SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Charitable, one of the country’s largest and fastest growing national donor-advised funds with 12,000 donors and nearly $2 billion in assets, announced today that is has been ranked California’s largest fundraising charity—and the ninth largest in the country—by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in its annual “Philanthropy 400” listing of charities that raise the most from private sources.1

“This is a great honor demonstrating the generosity of Schwab Charitable donors and the growing role that donor-advised funds can play in the world of philanthropy,” said Schwab Charitable President Kim Wright-Violich. “We are helping to make philanthropy easier and more accessible to all Americans and donors are clearly responding.”

Donor-advised funds are one of the fastest growing charitable giving vehicles in the United States used by individuals, families and organizations. The increasing popularity of donor-advised funds is likely driven by their lower cost and ease of use versus other charitable vehicles, in addition to important tax benefits and privacy safeguards for the donor.

Donor-advised funds are an effective tool for continued grant making even during difficult economic times. Reflecting the generosity of Schwab Charitable donors, grants to charities from Charitable Gift Accounts have increased 23 percent during the third quarter of 2008. This increase, which comes as turmoil on Wall Street has cut contributions to nonprofits nationwide, demonstrates one of the most compelling features of donor-advised funds—they can act as a charitable reserve that can be tapped during economic downturns.

“As we enter the holiday giving season, most Americans are feeling the pinch from a slowing economy and a declining stock market,” said Ms. Wright-Violich. “In this environment, charitable giving is more important than ever, so it’s crucial for all of us to be thoughtful about our giving to maximize the impact for the causes and organizations we care about most.”

At Schwab Charitable, individuals can open a Charitable Gift Account for as little as $5,000. Donors can also increase their impact through Schwab Charitable’s unique microfinance program, which allows donors to recommend that invested assets within their Charitable Gift Accounts be set aside to guarantee loans to the world’s neediest entrepreneurs. The guarantees help generate small loans—many as small as $200—to help poor individuals start or support struggling businesses in the developing world. Schwab Charitable is the first national donor-advised fund to offer this type of program.

“This program gives our donors an additional opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Ms. Wright-Violich. “They have secured a tax deduction by making a gift to a donor-advised fund and now they can double their charitable impact by recommending the funds be used once as a microfinance guarantee and then a second time as a grant to a completely different cause.”

About Schwab Charitable

Created as a national donor-advised fund organization with a mission to increase charitable giving nationwide, Schwab Charitable has raised over $3 billion and has made more than $1 billion grants to charity since inception. Schwab Charitable offers philanthropic tools and services that help donors make the most of their charitable giving. For more information about Schwab Charitable or the Schwab Charitable microfinance program, visit

1 The Chronicle of Philanthropy's 16th annual Philanthropy 400 uses financial data gathered from nonprofit organizations to determine which groups raised the most money from individuals, foundations, and corporations last year. The rankings are based on cash donations raised by charities, as well as gifts of art, stock, real estate, medicine, food, and other noncash items. The Chronicle relies heavily on figures from the Form 990 informational tax returns that charities are required to file annually with the Internal Revenue Service.


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Kim Wright-Violich, president of Schwab Charitable (Photo: Business Wire)

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