Vanguard Charitable Celebrates $10 Billion Granted to Charities Since Inception

Feb 18, 2020

Malvern, Pa., February 18, 2020 On the heels of a record year of charitable donations, Vanguard Charitable, a leading nonprofit who sponsors donor-advised funds, announces the organization has issued $10 billion in grants since launching in 1997 – a milestone made possible by nearly one million generous grants recommended to more than 100,000 unique organizations by Vanguard Charitable's donors. 


"This $10 billion milestone is a credit to our generous donors who support the causes they care about year after year," says Jane Greenfield, President, Vanguard Charitable. "These families, individuals and businesses take their role in helping others seriously, and focus on maximizing their impact, whether it is in the area of curing disease, providing access to quality education or helping to end the cycle of poverty. They inspire all of us at Vanguard Charitable. We are privileged to have the opportunity to help our clients fulfill their charitable giving goals." 


In 2019, $1.2 billion was distributed through more than 140,000 grants to nearly 40,000 separate charities. Among the most popular causes supported throughout the past year were organizations in human services (25%), religiously-affiliated charities (21%), education (19%), health (13%), and arts and culture (8%). Three-quarters of the grants provided by Vanguard Charitable were unrestricted, allowing each charity to deploy funds to areas of most critical need. 


"Donor-advised funds are cost effective giving tools that allow donors to give to a non-profit today, and sustain their support over time. And because donors can gift a variety of different assets through their donor advised funds – including cash, appreciated securities, and more complex assets– their support enables  even greater impact for their designated philanthropic organization and its mission," says Vik Dewan, CEO, Philadelphia Zoo, and Vanguard Charitable Trustee.  


Roughly two-thirds of contributions to Vanguard Charitable in 2019 came from appreciated assets,  allowing donors to strategically leverage their investment portfolio to maximize the amount they give to charity. Appreciated assets include publicly traded securities and complex assets such as insurance policies, private stocks, business interests, real estate and art. With Vanguard Charitable's capability to accept a variety of contributions, donors are able to contribute more than just cash and maximize their impact. 


In addition to strong year-over-year increases in granting to charities in the United States, Vanguard Charitable and its donors have increased their granting overseas.  In 2009, Vanguard Charitable expanded its international granting capabilities for donors through its partnership with CAF America, and today Vanguard Charitable offers the lowest price for international grants in the market.  


"Reaching $10 Billion in grants since inception is an incredible milestone. Helping donors support charities in a meaningful way, both today and tomorrow, is why Vanguard Charitable exists," says John J. Brennan, Chairman of Vanguard Charitable, and Chairman Emeritus and Senior Advisor to Vanguard. "We are confident that Vanguard Charitable will stay focused on its important mission and continue to evolve to meet the needs of donors and charitable organizations alike." 


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 $10 billion to charity. More information is available at


[1] 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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