Record-breaking donor response to COVID-19 disaster relief

Apr 21, 2020

Dealing with an unprecedented global crisis is on everyone’s mind. The ongoing conversation and constant reminders that show up on just about every screen can be disheartening. But alongside those heart-breaking images and headlines, there’s also a growing undercurrent of unity that comes from a collective effort.


People across the world are rising up to meet the challenges in many ways. New Yorkers are offering nightly rounds of applause for healthcare workers changing shifts. Food banks and restaurants are offering food for those in need. Parents across the country are sending extra thank-yous to teachers, who are now running classes on-line. And the overwhelming outpouring of gratitude for all those providing critical services--while putting themselves at risk--is humbling.


As a grantmaker, we have the privilege of witnessing our donors supporting charities on the front lines of this crisis, and doing so in record numbers. Because of this outpouring of generosity around COVID-19 relief, our donors have pushed our granted dollars well above $1.3 Billion for this current fiscal year as of March 31. This side of disaster relief—the fast reaction from our donors utilizing their donor-advised funds (DAFs) at an unprecedented pace—is amazing, but not surprising.


We know that donors who choose DAFs are strategic givers because DAFs are uniquely positioned to react quickly in times of great need. While no one could’ve predicted the magnitude of this global crisis, our donors were ready to recommend grants to support relief efforts.


We are at the start of, what seems to be, a lengthy COVID-19 relief effort, so the numbers below show the support around COVID-19 disaster relief to date. Please be sure to check back as we update these numbers along the way.

Published Date

COVID-19 Disaster relief by the numbers

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Total grant dollars recommended


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Total Grants


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Unique organizations supported

More than 3,200

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Average grant amount

Over $10,000

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Year-over-year grants increase (Vanguard Charitable)

52% increase


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