Fidelity’s charity arm, Fidelity Charitable, said late last month that it has received more than $100 million in cryptocurrency donations since 2015.
In total, more than $106 million worth of cryptocurrencies has been granted to Fidelity Charitable since it first began accepting this form of donation, according to the firm’s annual report published late last month.
Year over year, however, the number of crypto donations has dropped.
In 2017, cryptocurrencies represented the fastest-growing asset type accepted by the firm, with more than $69 million in donations. The pace has slowed in 2018 to $30 million in donations, according to the annual report.
“We see cryptocurrency donations rise along with increases in the value of cryptocurrencies in the marketplace,” said a company representative.
Likewise, Fidelity Charitable marketing head Amy Pirozzolo, said now that cryptos are facing a downturn people are less likely to offload them as charitable assets. This is related to the diminishing value of tax deductions charitable donors would be able to claim.
In opening the charity to crypto assets four years ago, Fidelity was attempting to capitalize not only on humanity’s philanthropic impulses but also real market incentives.
According to Pirozzolo, investors who donate their assets do not have to pay capital gains on them and can write donations off against their income tax. She said the firm even “encourages” clients to “give their most appreciated assets first… because it provides the best tax advantages for the donor and charity.”
It’s in this sense, that when looking for assets to add, Pirozzolo said the company often considers top performing cryptocurrencies.
“One thing we’re committed to is helping donors choose the most tax efficient asset to give to charity,” said Pirozzolo. The firm is “trying to keep its finger on the pulse” of the crypto market.
In the release, Fidelity Charitable also formally announced its acceptance of the digital asset XRP. The firm stated on Twitter back in May that it would take donations in XRP.
“The majority of our contributions to date have been bitcoin, however we have also seen growing numbers of donations in ethereum,” a company representative said. Fidelity Charitable also accepts bitcoin cash and litecoin.
While crypto donations have fallen in recent months, Pirozzolo said most of the charitable giving happens in the second half of the year.
Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson via CoinDesk archives