Total charitable impact


Recurring granting shows dedication to year-round giving, keeps Vanguard Charitable among top grantmakers

June 19, 2018



Though many donors give in response to direct fundraising appeals at year-end, Vanguard Charitable donors show their commitment to charities year-round. In fact, 37% of all grant dollars issued in calendar year 2017 were recurring grants sent to organizations multiple times throughout the year. Of those recurrent grant dollars, 87% were issued two-to-three times over the course of the year:

Recurring grant frequency:


Based on the total percentage of recurrent grant dollars - grants issued more than once per year from the same philanthropic account to the same organization


In 2017, 32% of accounts issued repeat grants to organizations, accounting for 33% of all grants issued. We know from past research that 96% of charities prefer year-round support.1 Ongoing and consistent funding allows nonprofits to plan accordingly, ensuring adequate program funding throughout the calendar year.


“Recurring donations are important. First, they act as an indicator of the level of confidence donors have in us as an organization. Second, they provide a strong idea of a funding stream that is likely to continue and that can influence planning (albeit with commitments only being made against money received).”

-Rob Mather, Founder/CEO, Against Malaria Foundation



Donors recognize the power of granting with intention and the importance of selecting not only the recipient organization, purpose, and grant amount, but also the timing and frequency. “Our donors view their grantmaking holistically, taking all sides into consideration,” said Chief Philanthropic Officer Ann Gill. “Sending a donation to a charity is not just a one-and-done action. Donors are invested in ensuring they are creating a meaningful impact on the causes they care about most.”


Vanguard Charitable—on the strength of our donors’ commitment to strategic philanthropy and thoughtful, impactful giving—is among the top grantmaking organizations in the United States. Based on fiscal year 2016 data (the most recent available), Vanguard Charitable ranks in the top 15 organizations, sharing the esteemed company of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Feeding America, and World Vision. Click to view the top 20 grantmakers.


From calendar year 2016 to 2017, Vanguard Charitable saw a 25% increase in the number of grants and a 28% increase in grant dollars issued to charities.  Donors capped off an incredible year of impact by granting a total of $873 million to charity in 2017, raising total granting since inception to more than $7.2 billion. Vanguard Charitable donors routinely recommend grants to meet the most critical needs in the United States and abroad, supporting a wide range of causes and organizations.


Donors who issue recurrent grants to the same organizations should consider establishing an automatic recurring grant schedule.  These can be created in minutes through the secure online portal and can be set to issue monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. Visit for more information.



1Vanguard Charitable, An inside look, 2016