Vanguard Charitable launches electronic grants solution, surpassing $100 million in first 4 months
Sep 20, 2023
The organization spearheaded a collective effort to improve and expedite the transfer of funds from grantmakers to charities across the U.S.
Malvern, Pa., September 20, 2023 – Vanguard Charitable, a leading U.S. grantmaker and trusted sponsor of donor-advised funds (DAFs), has launched Grant Payments with PayPal, enabling charities to receive funds from grantmakers faster and more easily. The initiative addresses the longstanding use of physical checks in charitable grantmaking, a method hampered by mail delays and administrative burdens for receiving charities. To address this problem for all nonprofits, Vanguard Charitable and National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) closely collaborated with PayPal. Grant Payments allows eligible nonprofits to accept and receive electronic funds for grants up to $10 million at no cost to the charity or grantmaker.
“For a long time, grantmakers have acknowledged the shortcomings of sending funds via paper check, but there was no easy, secure, and charity-friendly solution to address the grantmaking space as a whole,” said Rebecca Moffett, president of Vanguard Charitable. “We—Vanguard Charitable, National Philanthropic Trust, and PayPal—saw an opportunity to bring together leaders in their respective fields so that charities across the country could receive funds in a simple, secure, and much faster way – ultimately helping to drive their respective missions forward.”
Since Vanguard Charitable’s launch of Grant Payments in May of 2023, Vanguard Charitable donors have electronically granted more than $130 million to more than 400 eligible charities.1 More than 30,000 additional charities are currently eligible to receive funds via Grant Payments from Vanguard Charitable. Since May, Vanguard Charitable’s total percentage of grants distributed by methods other than a physical check increased more than elevenfold when compared to the same period the year before. Funds sent by Vanguard Charitable via Grant Payments arrive within one day of the receiving charity accepting the grant, and, in one case, in as little as one minute and forty-three seconds.2 In another instance, a charity accepted a $6 million electronic with ease. There are no fees for any grants sent via this method.3
“As an organization that relies heavily on volunteers, any opportunity MANNA has to simplify processing donations and grants is incredibly valuable,” said Amy Mansky, MPH, director of advancement at MANNA, a charity that uses nutrition to improve health for people with serious illnesses who need nourishment to heal. “With electronic Grant Payments, MANNA staff don’t need to open a piece of mail or pass a check from department to department to process. The money is in our account within a couple of clicks.”
The benefits of Grant Payments were particularly visible in the aftermath of the recent Maui wildfires. Of the $3.7 million that Vanguard Charitable donors issued in grants in the three weeks following the fires, 57% was sent electronically and arrived within a day of the grant’s approval. For local organizations whose offices were destroyed or who weren’t receiving mail, this proved a major boost in serving a community in need.
While individual donors are already able to give electronically via credit card, on charity websites, and even in the checkout line, these donations are generally smaller than ones made via a donor-advised fund and are diminished by service fees. Donor-advised fund giving, meanwhile, topped $45 billion in 2021 (the latest year on record), meaning that a significant portion of nonprofits’ total donations has continued to come via physical check.
“PayPal Grant Payments drives efficiency for grantmakers and charities by offering a granting solution to digitally send and receive grants quickly, efficiently, and securely,” said Michael Budwig, Senior Director of Product for Giving at PayPal. “By implementing PayPal Grant Payments, Vanguard Charitable is able to help more than 200,000 PayPal confirmed charities receive electronic grants, streamlining and simplifying what has historically been a much more manual and drawn-out process.”
“When donors recommend a grant, they rely on Vanguard Charitable’s thorough due diligence to give them peace of mind. Now they can also count on those funds reaching an eligible charity more quickly,” said Ann Gill, chief philanthropic officer at Vanguard Charitable. “Grant Payments offers a long-awaited solution to grantee organizations who want to avoid the hassle of waiting for and processing physical checks and instead use those dollars more quickly to uplift their communities.”
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 Vanguard1 in 1997 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, Vanguard Charitable has granted more than $17 billion to charity. More information is available at www.vanguardcharitable.org.
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering 429 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit www.paypal.com.
About National Philanthropic Trust
Founded in 1996, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) is the largest national, independent public charity that manages donor-advised funds and one of the leading grantmaking institutions in the U.S. Since its founding, NPT has raised more than $49.8 billion in charitable funding and has made more than 640,000 grants exceeding $25.7 billion to nonprofits around the world. NPT annually publishes the Donor-Advised Fund Report, the sector’s authority on the state of DAF philanthropy. Visit NPT’s resource library to learn what you can do with a DAF and about NPT’s impact investing options.
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