Vanguard Charitable donors set new granting record despite economic challenges

Jan 25, 2023

Malvern, Pa., January 25, 2023 – Vanguard Charitable, a leading nonprofit and sponsor of donor-advised funds (DAFs), announced today its sixth straight year of record giving, as donors granted more than $1.87 billion in 2022 to nonprofits in need. This total was a 5% increase over the prior record year of 2021 and includes over 196,000 grants issued to more than 52,000 unique organizations. Furthering charitable impact across the world, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $15 billion to nonprofits since inception. 


“While 2022 presented our nation and our nonprofit community with economic challenges, our donors' record generosity surged as they granted to a diverse range of charities,” says Rebecca Moffett, president of Vanguard Charitable. “As a leading grantmaker and donor-advised fund provider, we at Vanguard Charitable are uniquely situated to help donors enact strategic giving plans that are resilient through all economic environments. The past year serves as a blueprint for DAF donors as they continue to leverage one of the most strategic giving options and giving partners to support cause areas in need now and into the future.”



2022 by the numbers: 


Philanthropists continued to execute their giving strategies by supporting cause areas and organizations close to their hearts. In 2022, Vanguard Charitable donors directed their granting to the following cause areas, in order of popularity by number of grants issued: human services (58K), religion (43K), education (30K), health (24K), environment & wildlife (15K), arts & culture (14K), and civic (11K).


The top 10 nonprofits supported by Vanguard Charitable donors, by number of grants issued, include:


Doctors Without Borders, USA Inc.

World Central Kitchen, Inc. 

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. – National Headquarters

International Rescue Committee, Inc.

Samaritan's Purse

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ)

Direct Relief

Catholic Relief Services, Inc.



In 2022, Vanguard Charitable donors also responded to an emerging need and granted more than $70 million to nonprofits supporting the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The rapid response from donors produced a 45% increase in the number of total Vanguard Charitable grants that were issued between February 28, 2022 and April 8, 2022 when compared to the previous year—proving yet again that Vanguard Charitable donors leverage the flexibility of their DAFs year-round to address great needs.  


Donors also continued to showcase various granting strategies. They set up more grants to go out on a recurring basis; in 2022, the amount of pre-scheduled recurring grants issued to nonprofits increased by 18% over the previous year. Recurring grants send a signal to nonprofits of commitment and consistency, which are powerful in emboldening nonprofit leaders to plan for maximal long-term impact. Additionally, over half of dollars granted by Vanguard Charitable donors were unrestricted, allowing nonprofits to allocate funds to their most pressing needs.



Embracing the power of donor-advised funds in periods of economic uncertainty 

This past year included multiple economic barriers to giving, including a lengthy period of rising inflation and a volatile stock market that saw the S&P 500 decrease by nearly 20% at year-end. Nonprofits are in a position of vast need, and many are bracing for continued economic pressure as we navigate elevated prices and a potential recession.


Yet, in response, DAF donors at Vanguard Charitable demonstrated their ongoing commitment to charities by granting at a higher rate than the record year before. They strategically leveraged charitable assets for long-term giving goals and short-term relief efforts even as economic conditions fluctuated and many donors stopped giving to charity.1 Vanguard Charitable donors’ responsiveness to economic conditions is also evident in their contributions, 25% of which consisted of cash assets, up from 20% in the last several years. This demonstrates that even in times of uncertainty, Vanguard Charitable donors find a way to continue giving.  



Increasing philanthropy for a quarter century


For over 25 years, Vanguard Charitable has nurtured strong partnerships with donors, helping them to increase and distribute their charitable contributions to effect change both locally and globally. Today, Vanguard Charitable donors are embracing philanthropy and giving more than ever, with total grant dollars distributed in the past five years alone equaling the total amount granted during Vanguard Charitable’s first 20 years. 


Vanguard Charitable is committed to continuing to provide donors with a variety of giving resources paired with industry-low fees to maximize impact today and over the next 25 years and beyond. On the strength of sound, cost-effective charitable investments, Vanguard Charitable has generated an additional $4.3 billion in investment returns for the charitable sector since the organization’s inception. 

To learn more about the generosity of Vanguard Charitable donors, please see here for Vanguard Charitable’s Annual Report:   


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 Vanguard2 in 1997 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $15 billion to charity. More information is available at



Vanguard Charitable: 
Crystal Fountain




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