A total of $123 million in surprise grants were awarded to 71 Arizona nonprofits this month, including 22 Arts & Culture groups. The surprise from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trusts marked the greatest single-day grant giving initiative in the history of Arizona. Trustees met with CEOs and Board Chairs of all of these organizations to thank them for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, surprising them by presenting them with a grant at the end of their meetings.
While economic uncertainty ravaged across almost all industries, the COVID-19 pandemic saw growth for institutions with large investments in the stock market. Due to this jump, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust’s endowment increased by $123 million during the 15 months following the start of the pandemic. Trustees aimed to share these earnings to those in the community most affected by the pandemic’s economic impact.
The list of Art’s & Culture groups included in the gift are:
Arizona State University Foundation*
Arizona Theatre Company
Black Theatre Troupe, Inc.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Cultural Coalition, Inc.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona
Jazz in Arizona, Inc.
Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Symphony
Valley Youth Theatre
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
“Maricopa County, along with the rest of the country, has suffered dramatically in so many different and unexpected ways,” says 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 under-served 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,” Harper says.
These grants, known as the Now is the Moment Grants Commemoration, serves as a single day investment in Maricopa County’s nonprofit community. Piper Trust plans on continuing their annual grantmaking that averages $22 million each year.
To learn more about Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust visit https://pipertrust.org/.