Vanguard Charitable Donors Build on Record Charitable Giving Year, Granting a Total of Over $1.78 Billion to Nonprofits

Jan 25, 2022

MALVERN, Pa., Jan. 25, 2021­ -- Vanguard Charitable, a leading nonprofit and sponsor of donor-advised funds (DAFs), today announced its fifth straight year of record giving with donors granting over $1.78 billion to nonprofits, a six percent increase from 2021. Nearly 200,000 grants were made to 54,000 unique organizations with these funds. In 2021, Vanguard Charitable also attracted 3,500 new donors, a 30% increase over 2020. Since inception, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $13.4 billion to nonprofits.


"2021 brought new challenges to our nation and our donors once again increased their generosity to a wide range of deserving nonprofits," says Rebecca Moffett, president of Vanguard Charitable. "At Vanguard Charitable, we're committed to aiding nonprofits and supporting donors' charitable goals. By identifying and supporting a diverse level of cause areas, our donors continue to pave the way to assist nonprofits in their greatest time of need."


Expanding impact through new organizations 


Philanthropists continued to adapt their giving strategies to support those organizations they have in the past, while also donating to nonprofits not previously supported. This was represented in an eight percent increase in unique nonprofits supported in 2021. 


In 2021, Vanguard Charitable donors directed their granting to the following cause areas, in order of popularity by number of grants: human services (55K), religion (42K), education (32K), health (26K), environment & wildlife (15K), arts & culture (14K), and civic (12K).  


Top 10 nonprofits supported by Vanguard Charitable donors, by number of grants issued:

1. Doctors Without Borders USA Inc 
2. Planned Parenthood Federation Of America, Inc. – National Headquarters 
3. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 
4. Cru / Campus Crusade For Christ 
5. Samaritan's Purse 
6. American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc. 
7. International Rescue Committee, Inc. 
8. American National Red Cross - National Headquarters 
9. Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc. 
10. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.


Donors continue to trust nonprofits to apply funding areas of greatest need 


In 2021, more than half of all giving was unrestricted, up from 42% of grant dollars in 2020. This highlights donors' continued focus on enabling nonprofits to address the most pressing or emergent needs. It also directly answers nonprofits' call for unrestricted giving; in a survey of Vanguard Charitable beneficiary nonprofits in October 2021, unrestricted grants were the preferred funding approach by three out of five of charities. 


Vanguard Charitable Updates Proprietary Tool to Connect Donors to Nonprofits Focused on Hunger & Homelessness


In December, Vanguard Charitable launched the updated Nonprofit Aid Visualizer™, NAVi for Hunger & Homelessness. Available for free on Vanguard Charitable's website, this interactive web-based tool helps donors better connect with nonprofits in their local communities and those operating in geographic areas struggling with homelessness and hunger.


In 2021, grant dollars to nonprofits focused on hunger, housing, or both categories increased 5% over 2020, with Vanguard Charitable donors giving $316 million to nearly 12,000 hunger and homelessness-focused nonprofits across the United States. 


"After polling our donors and connecting with nonprofits on the front lines, we found the most effective way to inspire the giving public to make a difference in this next phase of the pandemic was through a focus on hunger and homelessness causes," said Jodi Rosen, director of product and business development. "NAVi for Hunger & Homelessness unifies donors in the fight to eradicate these issues by encouraging them to support nonprofits in their own communities – or those communities facing the greatest need."


Vanguard Charitable Helps Facilitate Atypical Donation Types


Donor-advised funds are unique in that they can accept and liquidate a wide range of assets that many nonprofits cannot process. In 2021, 66% of donations came in the form of appreciated securities and non-cash gifts.


For more information about Vanguard Charitable or giving through donor-advised funds, please visit


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 $13 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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