PHOENIX (AP) – The investments of a Phoenix-based charity trust over the past 15 months have worked well and dozens of social service groups, arts organizations and other nonprofits still sailing in the fallout from the pandemic now benefits greatly.

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Monday donated a record $ 123 million to 71 organizations in Maricopa County.

The trust in 2020 had awarded more than $ 37 million to community organizations, compared to an average of about $ 22 million per year.

The $ 123 million “Now is the time” grants, ranging from $ 100,000 to $ 7.5 million, are intended to move grantees from crisis and recovery to long-term sustainability. run, the Arizona Republic reported.

“It’s one thing to go through an immediate crisis,” said Sharon Harper, Piper board member. “These transformational grants are another level of giving. This gives (the beneficiaries) the lead to plan, to know that these organizations can be resilient and be there for the long term. “

Native American Connections, a group that provides housing and other advice, received a grant of $ 3 million, or about one-fifth of its annual budget.

“I literally started to cry. It was so overwhelming, ”said Diana“ Dede ”Yazzie Devine, President and CEO of Native American Connections.

Phoenix Symphony CEO Suzanne Wilson received a check for $ 7.5 million in a meeting she said was going to be a meet and greet with Piper’s directors.

“It’s beyond amazing,” said Wilson, who started her job in January 2020. “Seven weeks later we were canceling all of our performances because of COVID. We had to make some heartbreaking decisions.”

Trust officials said grant selections were based on each organization’s mission and impact in the community, with grants varying based on factors such as budget size and the number of people served.

The amount of single-day donations from the trust is unprecedented in Arizona, said Jacky Alling, senior philanthropy researcher at the Lodestar Center at Arizona State University. for nonprofit philanthropy and innovation.

“What’s even more remarkable is not just the dollar amount of the grants, but also the unlimited and unsolicited nature of the grants,” Alling said.

The Piper Trust was established 21 years ago as a legacy of the late Virginia Galvin Piper. Piper’s first husband, Paul Galvin, was the founder of Motorola.

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