The 2020 Annual Report

From the President and CEO

Without a doubt, 2020 will be remembered for its complex challenges—a global health pandemic, an amplified fight for social and racial justice and a polarized political environment. At NPT, we will remember it as a time when our donors made unprecedented commitments to charitable causes and organizations. They used their NPT donor-advised funds to address these problems and more, recommending record-breaking grant dollars to charities whose missions they actively wish to support. 

NPT’s number of grants increased 43% while the dollar amount of grants increased 69% over the prior year. These grants supported COVID-19 vaccine research, social justice initiatives, voter registration efforts, meal delivery services, public arts education, and so much more. Some grants were designated for specific programs, like technology for virtual education, while many, many more were unrestricted. These unrestricted grants, in particular, allowed charities to utilize funds to best support their missions. Unrestricted giving is part of “trust-based philanthropy,” a strategy which aligns the interests of charities and donors alike.

I am heartened that in the face of overwhelming global challenges, donors found enormous satisfaction in their philanthropy.

I am heartened that in the face of overwhelming global challenges, donors found enormous satisfaction in their philanthropy. Our donors drove innovation and solutions, whether they were supporting frontline healthcare workers in Brooklyn, promoting minority-owned businesses in the Bay Area or protecting the environment in the British Virgin Islands. For the last 25 years, NPT has been committed to increasing philanthropy in society. I am tremendously proud of the charitable impact that NPT and our partners have around the world. 

In a year of intense reflection, NPT continues to honor the values we hold sacred: innovation, inclusion and integrity. NPT’s Board of Trustees and our remarkably talented staff continue to advance our work and workplace in meaningful ways.   

Together with our generous donors, NPT hopes to create a more equitable future for all of us.

Warm Regards,
Eileen R. Heisman
President and CEO

Executive Summary

Since 1996, National Philanthropic Trust has helped individuals, families, foundations and corporations reach their philanthropic goals and maximize their charitable giving. Today we are the nation’s largest independent provider of donor-advised funds (DAFs). During the 2019-2020 fiscal year (FY20), NPT achieved new records in grantmaking, contributions and charitable assets under management.

A year of

$2.3 billion charitable dollars were granted to nonprofit organizations, an increase of 69% over the previous fiscal year.

of charities

25,829 charities received grants from our generous donors, an increase of 26% over FY19.

The grantmaking

Donors issued 73,883 grants to charities during this fiscal year, up 43% over last year.

Donor support
knows no

NPT’s donors supported nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, as well as international charities.

What Shaped 2020?

This year was unlike any other, shaped by forces that were entirely new, like the COVID-19 global pandemic, and by forces that are centuries old, like protest and social unrest in reaction to racial inequities.


Collaborative COVID-19 Relief

In one community, small business owners, local politicians, nonprofits and citizens banded together to provide direct relief from COVID-19. The goal was to pool funds to address the most essential needs: food insecurity, PPE for frontline responders, technology access and more. The coalition’s leaders opened a DAF to streamline fundraising and grantmaking. Together, the group has distributed millions to local charities. Flexibility, ease of use and rapid mobilization made a DAF the ideal tool to organize efforts and provide transformational support for people in need.

Racial Equity

Addressing Longstanding Inequities

In one family, two generations came together to address issues that reflect longstanding inequities. Influenced by the global reaction to the police brutality experienced by Black people and other people of color, the family’s philanthropic mission evolved to recommend grants to organizations that combat racism and organize to create systemic change within the judicial system and beyond.

Climate Emergency

Rebuilding After a Climate Disaster

From Hurricane Dorian’s destruction in the Bahamas in September 2019 to wildfires in California to earthquakes in Puerto Rico, donors shifted giving strategies and reacted generously to climate emergencies. Communities lost homes, belongings, access to food and electricity, and their sense of security. Climate disasters reminded donors that storms know no geographic boundary, and generosity can connect humanity across borders.

Grantmaking On the Rise Again

Grantmaking is how we reach our mission to increase philanthropy in society. Our donors recommend grants to charities across the globe. For the third year in a row, NPT donors granted over $1 billion. For the first time ever, donor-recommended grants exceeded $2 billion. Grants ranged from $250, our grant minimum, to more than $40 million in FY20. These grants go to charities of all sizes and focus areas.


In FY20, there was a 69% increase in the dollar amount of grants over the prior year, from $1.4 billion to $2.3 billion.


In FY20, the total number of grants increased from 52,000 to 73,900, a 43% increase.

Grantmaking Impact Stats

Our donors are also recommending grants to more individual charities than ever before. To accommodate the increased grantmaking activities and our donors’ charitable giving goals, NPT scaled its grantmaking processes to both conduct appropriate due diligence and provide mission-critical funding to charities as quickly as possible.

Unrestricted Grants:


Donor-Identified Grants:




Human Services, Religion and Education Nonprofits led grantmaking by volume of grants in FY20.

Global Impact

Since 1996, NPT has made almost 346,000 grants totaling more than $9 billion to charities in 70 countries. Donors are moved to give for many reasons. They may be responding to immediate needs in the aftermath of a natural disaster in a foreign country, executing a long-planned major gift to a local university–or both. In FY20, our donors recommended grants to a large and diverse group of charities. Here is a look at some of the grants this year.

Supporting Virtual Learning

A $250,000 grant supports California distance learning and digital devices during COVID-19.

Safety on the Frontlines

A $1,500,000 grant assists the costs of purchasing PPE for medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helping Hardest Hit Restaurant Workers

A $1,000,000 grant provides immediate one-time payments of $500 to restaurant workers who have been hardest hit in during COVID-19.

Covering Childcare Costs

A $50,000 grant helps with childcare for nurses on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fight for Racial Justice

A $50,000 grant helps create a more humane and less hostile world for Black people in America.

Developing the COVID-19 Vaccine

A $2,000 grant supports frontline workers and the research and development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Supporting Local Communities

A $200,000 grant funds both short- and long-term needs that arise within communities as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Engaging in the Power of Culture and Arts

A $10,000 grant enriches the community by sharing the power and joy of dance.

A Global Impact

A $1,000,000 grant supports projects to address ocean sewage pollution.

Protecting Species in Peril

A $1,000 grant assists the conservation of species in peril, conducting scientific research, training of professionals, responsible management of natural resources and public education.

Across the Globe

A $2,000,000 grant to strengthen African mission hospitals to aid those in greatest need.

Preventing Dementia Globally

A $400,000 grant to support the first global network of multimodal dementia prevention trials.

How Our Donors Fund Their Philanthropy

Contributions are how our generous donors fund their philanthropy. Whether they donate cash, appreciated securities or complex assets, every dollar goes to charitable purposes. Donors will use these charitable assets to support the organizations and causes that mean most to them. Every dollar in our AUM is dedicated to charitable purposes, including some that are invested to maximize the benefit to society.


Consolidated Statements

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BOARD OF TRUSTEES (at time of publication)
Suzanne Yoon – CHAIR
Joram Borenstein
Ann Dugan
Robert S. Eichfeld (term ends 2/28/21)
Julius Green, CPA, JD
Stephen Hopkins
Eileen R. Heisman
Dirk Jungé
Gerald Kerner
Linda K. Myers
Clark D. Pitcairn
Eric Reeves
Diana L. Sands
Daniel Schloendorn
Paul Schreiber
Kelly Williams, J.D

Eileen R. Heisman – President and Chief Executive Officer
René J. Paradis – Chief Operating Officer
Andrew W. Hastings – Chief Development Officer
Ellen M. McGuinn – Chief Financial Officer
Jenna Mulhall-Brereton – Chief Philanthropic Services Officer
Gil A. Nusbaum – General Counsel
John Canady – Chief Executive Officer, NPT UK Charities
Matthew B. Rovi – Senior Vice President, Institutional Partnerships and Experiences
Andrea Rush – Senior Vice President, Philanthropic Services
Christopher Adams – Senior Vice President, Technology
Joseph Gajewski – Senior Vice President, Investment Operations & Compliance