Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Achieves $500 Million Milestone

Posted By on March 19, 2021
Virginia G. Piper

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, a private foundation that honors the legacy of Virginia Galvin Piper, recently surpassed a grantmaking milestone of investing more than $500 million since its inception 21 years ago in nonprofits and programs that enhance the lives of people in Maricopa County.

The half-billion-dollar investment is made possible by Virginia Piper’s endowment of $590 million and strong fiscal stewardship that puts the Trust in an excellent position to continue its unique, regional philanthropic legacy.

Piper Trust’s investments in organizations and initiatives that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County have significant economic and social impact. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, the Trust has focused on healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations.

According to Dr. Anthony Evans, staff director and senior researcher at the L. William Seidman Research Institute, W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, the economic impact of $500 million+ philanthropic dollars on Maricopa County (granted over 20+ years) is estimated at more than 4,015 job years of employment; more than $213.1 million in labor income; and, more than $495.3 million in total contribution to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“These economic impacts are a significant but nevertheless conservative estimate of Piper Trust’s total contribution to Maricopa County. These numbers don’t factor in social impact — things like the numbers of people who have benefited from health, human services, or educational programs funded by the Trust; or the number of arts and culture initiatives that have improved the quality of life within the local community,” Dr. Evans said. “If we could accurately measure all of those things, the absolute impact of the Trust’s support for nonprofits and programs over the last 20 years could be at least double or triple the GDP impact.”

“Nonprofits have a profound and immeasurable influence on individual lives, families and communities, and it’s impossible to fully quantify the level of impact the sector has on our region,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Nonprofits serve as a critical frontline multiplier alongside the public sector in meeting the needs of our community that can’t be accomplished by any one domain alone. Piper Trust’s dedication to grantmaking in Greater Phoenix allows that multiplier effect to take hold by providing a hand up to our region’s most vulnerable which impacts present and future trajectories.”

Typically the Trust awards approximately $22 million annually to Maricopa County nonprofits, but this year the Trust has awarded more than $37 million, much of it a response to COVID-19.

“It is an honor to carry out Virginia Piper’s legacy through the endowment that she graciously left to this community that she loved. We are so grateful for the stewardship of our Trustees and the exceptional financial advisement of the Trust’s dedicated external investment committee members—Jeffrey Coles, Jacque Millard, and Kent Misener—this collective leadership has helped our corpus remain strong and resilient for the future,” said Mary Jane Rynd, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

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