Photo: On Monday, September 13, Jewish Family & Children’s Service received a surprise ‘Now is the Moment’ Grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Pictured is JFCS president and CEO Dr. Lorrie Henderson and vice president of Philanthropic Services Gail Baer.
When Dr. Lorrie Henderson received a call to meet with the Trustees of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, he was quick to say yes. After all, the Piper Trust had supported Jewish Family & Children’s Service over the years, and he was happy to accept the invitation.
Little did he know that he would leave that meeting with JFCS as a recipient of one of 71 surprise grants made to Arizona nonprofits.
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 significant 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 all the earnings with the community in one swift action by awarding $123 million in one day, the largest single-day grant initiative in Arizona’s history.
“Piper Trust has been extremely generous to JFCS over the years,” said Gail Baer, JFCS’ vice president of philanthropic services. “I couldn’t hold back the tears when they shared that we would be receiving an unrestricted grant as part of their ‘Now is the Moment’ grants commemoration.”
According to Piper Trust, grantee selection was shaped by each organization’s respective mission and impact on the community. The grants ranged 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 and her personal values.
“These past 18 months have been challenging, and social services programs like JFCS have seen an exponential increase in requests for services,” said Henderson, president/CEO of JFCS. “We are honored to have been selected by Piper Trust to receive this generous grant as a testament to the important work we are doing in our community.”
The $123 million “Now is the Moment Grants Commemoration” was a single-day investment in Maricopa County’s nonprofit community. Piper Trust’s annual grantmaking averaging $22 million will continue as usual. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has awarded more than $644 million in grants to the community.