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Delaware Donors and Generosity

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It’s tough to see many silver linings out of this pandemic, but here’s one: Delawareans stepped up for each other in 2020.

I’m lucky to be in the business of working with generous people, but the scale of generosity over the past 12 months has knocked my socks off. According to our end-of-year reporting, the DCF awarded $31.2 million in community grants and scholarships – courtesy of individuals, families and corporations who donated generously because they care about Delaware.

That represents an incredible 35 percent increase over 2019 giving and a 112 percent increase over 2018 giving.

Wow. Just wow.

The increased giving in Delaware reflects national trends in 2020, as donors responded to the pandemic, shared the fruits of a strong stock market, and took advantage of charitable giving tax incentives established through the CARES Act. We’re pleased, of course, that we were able to help people get money out into the communities.

And we’re doubly pleased by our strong partnerships, which made this possible. Working with nonprofits across the state, with the State government, the University of Delaware, corporations like Highmark, foundations such as Rodel, we’re able to leverage passion, resources, and strategy to make a difference. Notably, in partnership with Philanthropy Delaware, we put out over $3.5 million through the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund.

In addition to generous grantmaking in 2020, DCF fundholders also gave more than $82.1 million to charitable funds at the DCF for future grantmaking to address evolving community needs. This was an increase of $51 million (165 percent) over 2019 and $52 million (172 percent) over 2018. Thanks to this generosity – combined with careful stewardship and favorable market performance – the charitable assets under management at the DCF now stand at a record-breaking $368 million.

What all of this says to me is that, as Delawareans, we want to help. And that’s a silver lining that will keep me going through 2021.