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Giving Matters blog

The Giving Matters blog is a way for our leadership team to share their perspectives on trends in philanthropy, charitable planning strategies, and more.

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Jane Greenfield's picture

Celebrating 20 years of giving and impact

December 07, 2017

Twenty years ago today, responding to direct requests from philanthropic individuals, Vanguard Charitable opened its doors. Under the guidance of then Chairman and CEO of Vanguard Group, Jack Brennan, we set out to accomplish one simple goal: Apply the Vanguard values of low cost, disciplined investing, along with a high level of customer service, to the rapidly growing donor-advised fund model.  That first year we served just 84 accounts and issued 11 grants to charity. Now, 20 years later, Vanguard Charitable hosts nearly 14,000 accounts and has granted more than $7 billion to charities across the globe.

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Rebecca Moffett's picture

#GivingTuesday kicks off the 2017 Giving Season—How will you have a greater impact this year?

November 28, 2017

Today, November 28, hundreds of millions of dollars will be raised through online and social media platforms in honor of #GivingTuesday—a global day of charity. For those unfamiliar, Giving Tuesday follows Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and officially kicks off the charitable “Giving Season”—a time where our team at Vanguard Charitable is humbled by our donors’ philanthropic passion and generosity. It is also a time where the increased granting and charitable activity forces us to step back and ask ourselves: How we can help our donors have an even greater impact this year than the year prior?

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Kevin Cavanaugh's picture

Save to give: How millennials will shape philanthropy

November 21, 2017

Each generation approaches philanthropy differently. With millennials in particular receiving a lot of attention recently, as ascending generations often do, I thought I would use the final blog in this series to see what we can expect in the way of charitable giving from this group.

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Kevin Cavanaugh's picture

Save to give: Stretching your charitable dollars

November 02, 2017

In my last blog, the first in the three-part series, I discussed the advantages of using a donor-advised fund and the save to give mindset to maximize your ‘philanthropy retirement.’ I used real data from the past 20 years to demonstrate how a donor who opened an account with us in 1997 could have extended the duration of her giving from 10 to 20 years while increasing her total impact by 56%, providing her favorite charities with consistent, ongoing support. This time, I’d like to utilize the same investment performance data from the past 20 years to look at a new scenario.

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Kevin Cavanaugh's picture

Save to Give: Planning for your ‘philanthropy retirement’

October 19, 2017

Vanguard Charitable is celebrating its 20th year of operation. For me, as the chief financial officer, part of what this means is that we now have 20 years’ worth of market data to consider. We can look at how charitable investments made in our very first year would have performed in the intervening time and use real-life evidence to examine our 'save to give' mantra, our belief that long-term, strategic philanthropy is the most effective way to make a difference.

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Brad Caswell's picture

Why $500?

October 05, 2017

One thing that sets Vanguard Charitable apart from other donor-advised funds is our $500 grant minimum. Donors occasionally inquire about this policy, asking if they can give in smaller increments. We take this feedback to heart, as we aim to always be responsive to our donors’ needs–our goal, after all, is to provide the flexibility and control you need to facilitate your philanthropic strategies as effectively as possible. At the same time, the $500 minimum reflects a strategic decision on our part to remain committed to our overall mission: Increasing philanthropy and maximizing its impact over time.

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Ann Gill's picture

Intergenerational giving: How our charitable practices influence our children—and vice versa

August 16, 2017

It’s summer—a time of long, sun-washed days, family vacations, and, at Vanguard Charitable, an annual tradition we call Community Days. These volunteer outings are one of the most gratifying ways we take time off work, as each team member chooses from a collection of service opportunities that have been developed in tandem with local nonprofits. This year, team members will cage and protect young oak trees in a nearby land preserve, cheer on elderly individuals in the Olympics-style “Golden Games,” and support at-risk youth at a back-to-school event—to name just a few of the options. This time out of the office is time well-spent; the tradition of Community Days helps us put our values to work and our mission into action.

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Rebecca Moffett's picture

A charity's infrastructure can be as important as its mission: Overhead is OK

July 18, 2017

I recently attended a conference focused on enhancing the infrastructure of philanthropy. The attendees came from a variety of backgrounds, from academics doing first-of-its-kind research on generational giving to companies focused on increasing workplace giving, to large foundations, and donor-advised funds. As we sat together sharing what we have learned, what works for us, what others might consider doing, and how we can work together to accomplish these goals, the theme of investing in charities’ infrastructure came up with a few different interpretations.

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Joe Davis's picture

Time to look at your charitable asset mix?

June 28, 2017

In my previous blog, I discussed how you can protect and grow your charitable assets in this low-return investment environment and noted that you have two basic options: saving more and selecting the right asset allocation. Since I’m an investment guy, I’m now going to dive a little more into that latter option.

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Jane Greenfield's picture

The charitable giving junction of short-term needs and long-term impact

June 20, 2017

Amazon founder and philanthropist Jeff Bezos recently turned to Twitter to solicit ideas for his philanthropy, a novel outreach for a relatively quiet donor. We at Vanguard Charitable were excited by his tweet, which generated thousands of ideas, retweets and media coverage, because we believe it is very important to keep the topic of charitable giving front and center and encourage conversation on it.

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