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'ownership' of funds in a brokerage account

  • 1.  'ownership' of funds in a brokerage account

    Posted 12-26-2019 01:45 PM
    Hello, Community, 
    We have recently received a few donations from donors at Fidelity Brokerage Services.  In some cases the donor's name is listed and not in other cases (Fidelity will not disclose the donor's name).  My question is - does this brokerage account work similar to a bank account where the funds belong to the donor and not to the bank?  Does the donor or Fidelity get the hard credit?  These are a mixture of small retirement distributions ($100-$200) and some major foundation proposal payments.  

    Please advise if you have experience with this. 

    Leah Garrett
    Community of Hope, Washington, DC

  • 2.  RE: 'ownership' of funds in a brokerage account

    Posted 12-26-2019 01:53 PM
    The donor is nearly 100% of the time an individual.  I have seen Fidelity as a donor in these cases only once in a few decades.

    BTW, Fidelity can disclose donor names unless the donor requested anonymity.  I wouldn't press the matter this time of year.  In fact, you will probably receive a letter from the donor in the next few weeks.  But when the end of year dust settles, call your local Fidelity representative and ask then for donor details.


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 3.  RE: 'ownership' of funds in a brokerage account

    Posted 12-27-2019 12:09 PM
    Thank you both.  That is as I suspected on these brokerage accounts.  Where the donor has requested anonymity, we will add to an anonymous donor record and not have a record for Fidelity Brokerage.  And we will wait patiently where needed to get those details. 

    Leah Garrett

  • 4.  RE: 'ownership' of funds in a brokerage account

    Posted 12-26-2019 01:53 PM

    Hi Leah,


    Every check I've seen from Fidelity's DAF has been from Fidelity Charitable. They make it pretty clear it's a donor-advised fund. A check from a brokerage account is the donor's money. You can treat it like a check from the donors themselves.



    Bill Wong
    Manager of Giving Operations
    Savannah College of Art and Design ®

    office: 404.253.6081 /

    SCAD40: Forty Creative Years

    SCAD: The University for Creative Careers ®
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