Fueled by Support of COVID-19 Relief Efforts, Vanguard Charitable Donors Reach New Granting Record High of $1.7 Billion in 2020

Feb 02, 2021

Malvern, Pa., January 26, 2021 - Vanguard Charitable, a leading nonprofit and sponsor of donor-advised funds (DAFs), today announced the organization reached a new granting record in 2020, with donors granting more than $1.7 billion, a 25% increase in granting over a previously record calendar year 2019. The funds were distributed over 190,000 grants to 50,000 organizations. While granting has increased steadily over the past several years – 19% in 2018 and 30% in 2019 – this year’s significant increase can be credited in part to COVID-19 response and a generous giving season. 


“2020 represented a year of change, challenge and also charity. While there will be many takeaways from the year, what we are most inspired by is the generous giving we saw from our donors in the face of every challenge,” says Jane Greenfield, President, Vanguard Charitable. “Beyond their immediate response to COVID-19, our donors stepped up and increased their granting throughout the full year, and in particular, giving season. Further, the diversity of organizations supported shows that donors thought broadly when planning their giving for the year.” 

Diversity of Causes 


While many donors supported organizations providing direct COVID-19 relief, many also supported organizations that were left without the traditional fundraising channels needed to sustain the services they provide. The top cause areas of giving in 2020 include health and human services (43%), religion (21%), education (15%), arts and culture (7%), environment and wildlife (7%) and civic organizations (6%). 


Types of Assets Donated 


Also notable is the continued growth in diversity of the asset types philanthropists are donating to support charities. Uniquely, donor-advised fund sponsors are able to accept and liquidate a broad range of assets that charities often cannot accept due to their complexity—all to be granted to charitable organizations. In 2020, donors sought out opportunities to donate assets other than cash. In particular, donations of complex assets nearly doubled year over year, and contributions of securities and mutual funds increased 12%, when comparing 2020 to 2019.  


“We’ve witnessed the absolute importance of giving this year, and we are proud to report that it was a record-breaking year for Vanguard Charitable thanks to the generosity of our philanthropists. From our $10 billion granting milestone in January to an unprecedented response to COVID-19 despite the economic downturn, we’ve seen donor-advised funds prove again their value as a resilient, flexible giving vehicle for good,” says Rebecca Moffett, Chief Strategic Planning Officer, Vanguard Charitable.


For more information about Vanguard Charitable or giving through donor-advised funds, please visit www.vanguardcharitable.org/giving-with-vc/how-it-works.  


About Vanguard Charitable


Vanguard Charitable is a leading U.S. nonprofit organization that fulfills its mission to increase philanthropic giving by administering a donor-advised fund—a tax-effective way to consolidate, accrue, and grant assets to charity. Since it was founded by Vanguard [1] in 1997 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $10 billion to charity. More information is available at vanguardcharitable.org.

Published Date

1 precisionforcovid.org/ccvi
Although 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.


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