Vanguard Charitable Donors Have Granted Nearly $1.3 Billion in Response to COVID-19

The Vanguard Group
To help donors continue to give strategically, Vanguard Charitable launches free digital tool that maps COVID-19 hotspots and nonprofits providing relief

MALVERN, PA — Vanguard Charitable, a leading nonprofit and sponsor of donor-advised funds (DAFs), recently released a COVID-19 giving report examining the ongoing philanthropic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the country squarely in the middle of the most dangerous wave yet, data from the report shows that despite continued economic upheaval and uncertainty about the country’s future, Vanguard Charitable’s donors have markedly increased their overall giving. Between February 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, the total dollar value of grants from DAFs at Vanguard Charitable increased 25% over the same period in 2019. These grants totaled nearly $1.3 billion and supported nonprofits that are directly involved in COVID-19-related relief efforts as well as a host of other 501(c)3 organizations, many of whom faced financial setbacks since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Donor-advised funds have proven again to be both a tool for long-term, sustained impact and immediate relief. Our donors are supporting a diverse set of nonprofits in response to the pandemic, and we are proud to stand with them,” said Jane Greenfield, President, Vanguard Charitable. “Our donors were the inspiration behind our launch of a groundbreaking new charity locator, the Nonprofit Aid VisualizerTM (NAVi), designed especially to facilitate giving for this critical moment.”

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Donors Increase Their Granting

The 25% percent year-over-year increase in giving translates to an additional $259 million in grant disbursements compared to the same period in 2019. Grant units also increased by 39% percent year-over-year between February 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, totaling an increase of more than 38,600 grants.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, giving trends analyzed in the Vanguard Charitable COVID-19 Giving Report suggests that Vanguard Charitable donors recognized their unique ability as DAF account holders to address the immediate needs of their communities while continuing to have a long-term lens toward the recovery and rebuilding stages of the pandemic. In fact, more than half (51 percent) of respondents to a Vanguard Charitable donor survey shared that they plan to increase their giving in response to the crisis.

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NAViTM: A Free, Online Tool to Help Donors Navigate Their Charitable Response

To help individuals identify nonprofits serving COVID-19-vulnerable communities, Vanguard Charitable launched the Nonprofit Aid Visualizer™ (NAVi). NAVi harnesses information about COVID-19 incidence rates in local areas, community vulnerability to the pandemic,1 and detailed nonprofit profiles to help donors identify and support the communities most affected by the pandemic – within their own community or elsewhere in the U.S.

NAVi displays critical data points provided by the Surgo Foundation, GuideStar’s National Nonprofit Directory, and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and was developed with custom software built by geospatial services firm, Azavea.

Since the tool launched in October, NAVi has been accessed by more than 25,000 people. NAVi is free to use. Learn more and try it at

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Giving Priorities in the Wake of the Pandemic

The widespread impact of the pandemic transcended any single cause area. While many Vanguard Charitable donors supported organizations providing direct COVID-19 relief, others supported nonprofits that provide an array of valuable community services. The top ten nonprofits supported (by grant unit) include: Doctors Without Borders USA Inc., United Way, Planned Parenthood, Salvation Army, American Civil Liberties Union, American Red Cross, Feeding America, Samaritan’s Purse, Cru / Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Nature Conservancy.

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