Generosity expands as community responds to pandemic
In 2020, the Delaware Community Foundation awarded $31.2 million in community grants and scholarships, primarily from charitable funds established by individuals, families and corporate donors.
The 2020 giving – which touched tens of thousands of Delawareans – represents a 35 percent increase over 2019 giving and a 112 percent increase over 2018 giving.
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, DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said.
“Delawareans saw the need, and they stepped up,” Comstock-Gay said. “The DCF team worked hard to get the money into the community effectively and efficiently, and we are humbled that so many donors trust us to use our community knowledge and relationships to maximize the impact of their giving statewide.”
The DCF is the steward of more than 1,000 charitable funds established by individuals, families, corporations and nonprofit organizations. The foundation’s role is to manage those funds, provide donors with information and opportunities to maximize the impact of grantmaking, and award grants in alignment with donors’ wishes. The DCF also makes its own grants from the Delaware Forever Fund. 2020 grants also included approximately $3.5 million from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, a partnership of the DCF and Philanthropy Delaware.
In all three counties, DCF grants supported a range of projects and nonprofit organizations working to build opportunity and advance equity while responding to the immediate crises resulting from COVID-19. Grants funded emergency food and housing, health care, education, the arts, workforce development, environmental issues and more.
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.
“Delawareans gave generously and wisely this year,” Comstock-Gay said. “The community gave millions of dollars to address the immediate crush of needs created by the pandemic – not just to DCF, but to hundreds of nonprofits across the state. They also gave millions more for grants in the months and years to come, as Delaware’s needs continue to evolve.”