Vanguard Charitable celebrates its 25th anniversary

Vanguard Charitable celebrates its 25th anniversary

Since 1997, we at Vanguard Charitable have been privileged to work with donors like you who want their philanthropic dollars to effect the greatest possible change. Hear more about where we started, where we are going, and how our donors are getting us there from Board Chair John J. Brennan and President Rebecca Moffett.

Over 25 years, we’ve learned a great deal about what drives charitable giving, and we are proud of how our donor-advised fund (DAF) impacts communities around the globe. In the midst of uncertain markets and global crises, our DAF has proven to be a stable and flexible giving vehicle that enables donors to best achieve their maximum granting impact.


But sponsoring the highest-value DAF is meaningless without your support and dedication to amplifying the effects of your charitable dollars. We thank you for your trust over the past 25 years, and we look forward to a future of long-term, sustainable giving in the years ahead!


See below for some of the accomplishments we’ve achieved together over the past quarter century.

Join us on a journey through time!

Two people cutting a ribbon in front a building to signify opening Vanguard Charitable in 1997.


Vanguard Charitable is founded!


  • Relying on time-tested Vanguard values, a new kind of donor-advised fund is born.
  • The Vanguard Charitable donor of 1997 is a leader and a trailblazer. They want to give effectively and sustainably.
  • With low fees and a long-term outlook front of mind, these donors are ready to make an impact. 


Donor-advised funds guided by Vanguard tenets are growing in popularity as awareness increases.


  • More donors are committing to making a philanthropic impact.
  • By year’s end, Vanguard Charitable sponsors over 1,700 DAFs.
  • The Vanguard Charitable donor of 2002 has contributed to the nearly 25,000 grants that have been issued since inception – grants that total over $180 million.
10 balloon signifying Vanguard Charitable's 10th year open


It’s time to celebrate 10 years of giving!


  • The nonprofit industry is evolving, and philanthropists themselves are evolving in kind.
  • Donors are becoming more intentional and proficient givers; their impact on the nonprofit landscape is growing.
  • The Vanguard Charitable donor of 2007 has sent out their share of the cumulative $1.4 billion that has been issued to date, via an impressive 127,000 grants.


While the world is still recovering from the global recession of 2008-2009, Vanguard Charitable donors continue to boost nonprofits that need support.


  • Other revenue sources for giving dried up during the downturn, but the Vanguard Charitable DAF remains a secure and reliable source of giving.
  • The Vanguard Charitable donor of 2012 has helped reach exciting new milestones, with total grants thus far surpassing $3.75 billion.
  • There are six times as many accounts as there were in Vanguard Charitable’s first year. 


The giving landscape is becoming more globally-minded, as are Vanguard Charitable donors. 


  • A number of devastating hurricanes strike the globe, but Vanguard Charitable donors are well-positioned to respond and do so with great generosity.
  • The Vanguard Charitable donor of 2017 is able react quickly and effectively in times of crisis, and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
  • Since the organization’s inception, over 68,000 unique charities have received support from Vanguard Charitable donors.
  • More than 40% of total grants are unrestricted, as compared to 30% in 2012.


The explosive growth in the number of grants issued since 2017 alone is equal to our total growth over the previous 20 years.  


  • The total dollars granted to charity has doubled again, surpassing the astounding milestone of $15 billion.
  • More than half of grants recommended from Vanguard Charitable DAFs are unrestricted, a clear sign that donors trust the nonprofits with whom they partner to best utilize available funds.
  • The Vanguard Charitable donor of 2022 is a leader and an advisor.
  • They offer philanthropic advice with unique insights and are trusted by their peers.
  • They continue to look for new ways to expand their impact, and they fuel us in our vital work to maximize philanthropy over time.

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Exactly how much is $15 billion?

During the last quarter century, the achievements of Vanguard Charitable donors cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to supporting meaningful causes across the nonprofit sector. Now, with more than $15 billion granted to hardworking charities since 1997, the sum total of change you have created is staggering to visualize.

What does $15 billion actually look like? With that total amount of money, you could provide2:

  • Three meals a day

    for every food insecure child in the U.S. for a year

  • 150,000,000 computers

    for low-income families

  • 50,000 brand-new houses

    specially-adapted and customized for injured veterans

  • 395 million vaccine regimens

    or enough for every child born in the U.S. for the next century

  • 1 year of clean water

    for 1 in every 5 people on Earth currently without access

  • 54 billion diapers

    or a lifetime supply for every child in the U.S. for the next 2.5 years

Together, we will continue to change the world

For the past quarter of a century, Vanguard Charitable donors have made the organization what it is today. We are fortunate to work with donors like you for whom giving is a priority, and our primary goal remains to maximize the outcomes of your charitable goals.


As we all look towards an uncertain future, you can rest assured Vanguard Charitable will continue to emphasize cost-effective, high-value philanthropy.


 “As Vanguard Charitable looks ahead to the next 25 years, our goal will be to continue to make this very special charitable giving product the easiest charitable giving product to use." - Rebecca Moffett, President


Your giving has ascended to heights we could not have imagined a quarter of a century ago. Thank you once again for your trust, your generosity, and your commitment to making a difference.

 1Although Vanguard provides certain investment management and administrative services to Vanguard Charitable pursuant to a service agreement, Vanguard Charitable is not a program or activity of Vanguard. A majority of Vanguard Charitable’s trustees are independent of Vanguard.


 2Data supporting these facts was sourced from, and


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