WHEN AMERICANS think about donating money to charity around the holidays, they tend to think of the organizations whose names have become practically synonymous with philanthropy: the United Way, the Salvation Army, Feed the Children.

But on a list of the top money-raising charities in the country, the name at number two is one most people have never heard: Fidelity Charitable, the philanthropic arm of the giant Boston-based asset management firm. In 2012, Fidelity Charitable collected $3.6 billion—more than the American Cancer Society, or the Boys and Girls Club, or the American Red Cross.

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