BREAKING NEWS: Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards $123M in Surprise Grants to 71 Arizona Nonprofits

Starting at 8 a.m. today, Trustees of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust began a series of meetings with the CEOs and Board Chairs of each organization where they revealed each surprise grant. Each grant is to provide significant capital that will give the organizations strength and runway to help secure their futures. The “Now is the Moment Grants Commemoration” announcement is the largest single-day grant initiative in Arizona history. A complete listing of the areas of support that were funded and the recipient organizations is below.

Despite a tumultuous year due to the global health crisis caused by COVID-19 and economic uncertainty across all sectors, many individuals and institutions with large investments in the stock market experienced extraordinary growth in the value of their holdings. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust’s endowment grew by $123 million in the 15 months following the start of the pandemic. With these two opposing forces at work, and as stewards of the Trust’s founder, Virginia Galvin Piper, Trustees felt compelled to share with the community all of the earnings in one swift action.

“Maricopa County, along with the rest of the country, has suffered dramatically in so many different and unexpected ways,” said Trustee Sharon Harper. “Piper Trust cares deeply about our community and is proud of how community members have stepped up. However, we are still in a desperate situation…those who serve the underserved really have suffered. The arts and culture sector also has experienced significant setbacks due to the pandemic. We must ensure its fortification for the long-term vitality of the community and state,” said Harper.

The $123 million grants commemoration aligns with the Trust’s increased grantmaking over the past two years in response to the pandemic, and its belief in the power of strengthening the capacity of nonprofits. Grantee selection was shaped by each organization’s respective mission and impact in the community. The grants range in size and were determined by a variety of factors such as an organization’s overall need, budget size, and populations served. Some selections were based on Virginia Piper’s history of giving to organizations as well as her personal values. Piper Trust’s annual grantmaking averaging $22 million will continue as usual.

“I believe Virginia would think that this is a momentous time for these organizations,” said Trustee Laura Grafman, who was one of Virginia G. Piper’s best friends. “I feel that so strongly because she loved to share. I can’t help but feel that she would be thrilled and excited, and she would be the first one at the Trust on Monday the 13th…Virginia would say, ‘Thank you for what you do, thank you for everything you bring to this community, and now we have a little surprise for you.’ I can just see Virginia in my mind walking around the Trust with great enthusiasm and with hope for the potential of these grants.”

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $644 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more information, visit

The “Now is the Moment Grants Commemoration” Recipients:


André House of Arizona, Inc. • Arizona Justice Project • Benevilla • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona • Black Family and Child Services of Arizona • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, Inc. • Catholic Charities Community Services • Central Arizona Shelter Services • Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. • Child Crisis Arizona • Duet: Partners in Health & Aging • First Place AZ • Foundation for Senior Living • Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc. • Human Services Campus, Inc. • ICAN • International Rescue Committee • Jewish Family and Children’s Service • Maggie’s Place • Native American Connections, Inc. • one⋅n⋅ten • Phoenix Rescue Mission • Society of St. Vincent de Paul • St. Joseph the Worker • The Joy Bus • The Salvation Army • UMOM New Day Centers • Valley of the Sun YMCA


Act One • Arizona Musicfest • Arizona Opera • Arizona State University Foundation* • Arizona Theatre Company • Artlink, Inc. • Ballet Arizona • Black Theatre Troupe, Inc. • CALA Alliance • Children’s Museum of Phoenix • Childsplay, Inc. • Cultural Coalition, Inc. • Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation • Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona • Heard Museum • Jazz in Arizona, Inc. • Phoenix Art Museum • Phoenix Theatre • The Phoenix Symphony • Valley Youth Theatre • Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West • Xico, Inc.


Arizona State University Foundation* • Be A Leader Foundation • Bourgade Catholic High School • Brophy College Preparatory • Creighton University • Foundation for Blind Children • Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. • Notre Dame Preparatory High School • Seton Catholic High School • St. John Paul II Catholic High School • St. Mary’s High School • Xavier College Preparatory


Mission of Mercy • Ryan House • Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) • The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) • Valleywise Health Foundation


Franciscan Renewal Center • Mount Claret Retreat Center • St. Joseph Catholic Church • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix

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