The 2021 Annual Report

At National Philanthropic Trust, we are fortunate to help our donors support the charitable causes and organizations that are most important to them. During our 2021 fiscal year, donors again responded to a world of need with generosity and decisiveness, as they have for the past 25 years.

In 2021, the world continued to change, and our donors responded. They supported everything from vaccine distribution to virtual learning solutions to small business relief. At the same time, they stayed loyal to organizations they had supported in the past, funding arts and culture, the environment and climate change action, organizations focused on voting rights and democracy, faith-based groups and grassroots efforts to advance racial and gender equity.

Our donors’ giving surpassed $6B in FY21, driven by more than 88,000 grants.

This report highlights donor generosity and responsiveness in a time of extraordinary change and shifting needs.

This report highlights their generosity and responsiveness in a time of extraordinary change and shifting needs. A large majority of our donors—70%—recommended unrestricted grants, allowing recipient organizations to allocate the funds where they saw the greatest need.

I am proud of the charitable impact that NPT’s donors and partners have had across the country and around the world. Our mission is to increase philanthropy in society. This 2021 report demonstrates our commitment to that mission.

I am grateful to NPT’s Board of Trustees, our partners, my incredibly talented colleagues, and of course, our generous donors.

Warm Regards,

Eileen R. Heisman
President & 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 public charity that manages donor-advised funds (DAFs). During the 2020-2021 fiscal year (FY21), NPT achieved new records in grantmaking, contributions and charitable assets under management.

Our 2021 fiscal year, covered in this report, runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. This report gives us the most complete and up-to-date picture of NPT donor response to the pandemic and a changing charitable landscape.

Record-Breaking Grantmaking

NPT granted $6.4 billion in FY21, an increase of 178%.

Supporting More Than 30,000 Charities and Causes

30,304 different nonprofits received grants from our donors, a 17% increase.

Number of Grants Up Nearly 20%

Grants to charities increased 19% to 88,289.

Donor Support Across the Country and Around the World

Donors supported nonprofits in all 50 states, and in 40 countries around the world.   

Grantmaking Continues to Thrive

Grantmaking is how we achieve our mission to increase philanthropy in society. For the fourth year in a row, NPT donors recommended grants over $1 billion. Grants ranged in size from $250, our grant minimum, to tens of millions in FY21. These grants go to nonprofit organizations of all sizes and focus areas.

Most Grants in a Single Day


Day with Most Grant Volume


Total Value ($) Grants FY17 – FY21

Grants nearly tripled in value in FY21, an 178% increase over the prior year.


In FY21, the total number of grants increased from 73,883 to 88,289, a 19% increase.

Grantmaking Impact  Stats

Our donors are recommending grants to more individual charities than ever before. To accommodate the increased grantmaking activities and our donors’ charitable giving goals, NPT scaled up and accelerated its grantmaking processes to ensure that mission-critical funding got to organizations as quickly as possible, while still conducting appropriate due diligence.

Donors responded to the nonprofit need for flexible funding; 70% of grants were unrestricted and had no special provisions or requirements attached. 97% of donors chose to include identifying information in their grantmaking.

Unrestricted Grants


Donor-Identified Grants



Public & Societal Benefit, Education and Human Services led grantmaking by value in FY21, composing 83% of all grants.


Public & Societal Benefit, Human Services and Culture & Arts led grantmaking by number of grants in FY21.

2021 Grantmaking Impact

Since 1996, we have made more than 430,000 grants totaling almost $15.5 billion to charities across 78 countries. Donors are moved to give for many reasons, responding to global concerns as well as addressing needs in their communities.

In FY21, our donors recommended grants to a large and diverse group of organizations. These highlighted organizations represent a small sample of our donors’ total grantmaking, but demonstrate the breadth of their charitable commitments.

Preparing the World for Vaccines

Sabin Vaccine Institute: For 30 years, the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s primary objective has been developing vaccines for neglected infectious tropical diseases, promoting public health and studying the barriers to vaccine access and acceptance. The organization convenes medical leaders and has been a leader in studying vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. After the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the organization pivoted to a worldwide effort to prepare low-income countries for COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Essential Care for Food Service Workers

Giving Kitchen:Food service and restaurant workers have been especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, often facing low wages and lack of healthcare in addition to frequent exposure to the virus. Giving Kitchen, headquartered in Atlanta, provides food service workers in both Georgia and Tennessee with emergency financial and social services assistance. The organization has helped thousands of workers cover expenses like rent, utilities and doctors’ visits when faced with illness or injury, and connected them to additional help like legal aid, employment opportunities and mental health services. 

Preserving Coastal Ecosystems

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation: Managing and conserving more than 1,800 acres on southwest Florida’s Sanibel Island and the surrounding area, The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation carries out its mission to preserve and protect Florida’s coastal ecosystems through conservation, science, advocacy and education. The organization manages a marine laboratory, monitors real time ocean and water health data in the Gulf of Mexico and helps protect the area’s critical shorebird and sea turtle populations.

Alleviating Hunger Worldwide

World Food Program USA: As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, The United Nations’ World Food Program supports global food security by providing food, logistics, and agricultural knowledge to the world’s hungry and impoverished. The program reached 120 million people in 2021 by delivering 15 billion meals and working with local, on-the-ground organizations to promote sustainable and self-reliant agricultural practices.

Bicycle-Powered Mobility

World Bicycle Relief: A $25,000 grant helps bring mobility to rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and South Asia, providing specially designed and locally built bikes that get students, healthcare workers and professionals where they need to be.

Substance Use Disorder Awareness and Prevention

Lines for Life: A grant of $10,000 helps the Portland, OR-based organization provide help and hope through crisis intervention services like mental health and suicide prevention hotlines and advocacy for better mental health policy.  

Free Transportation for Medical Services

Angel Flight East: A $250 grant helps volunteer pilots provide free air transportation for those in need of medical care far from home.

Providing a Brighter Future for Families in Poverty

Hellen Keller International: A $40,000 grant helps provide effective solutions to preventable vision loss and impairment across 20 different countries.

Fighting Hunger’s Root Causes

Philabundance: A grant of $25,000 helps address the social determinants of health—disparities in housing, healthcare, jobs and education—alongside hunger relief in the Philadelphia region. 

Encouraging Exploration

WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology: A $2,000 grant to the Bloomington, IN museum provides opportunities for families and classrooms to experience the wonder and excitement of science through interactive exhibits and programs.

Community-Police Partnerships

Lights On!: A $5,000 grant helps support this Minneapolis-based program replacing traffic tickets and fines with vouchers for local repair shops, improving police-community relationships. The program is now being adopted by police departments across the country.

Employment Opportunities for Veterans

Hire Heroes USA: A grant of $150,000 helps get U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses back into the civilian workforce through customized career coaching—at no cost to the job seeker.

Reducing Recidivism While Rescuing Dogs

New Leash on Life USA: A grant of $5,000 helps match incarcerated participants with at-risk shelter dogs. The organization helps participants train the dogs and transition to paid internships upon their release, as well as career paths at animal welfare organizations. 

Addressing Climate Change with Science and Conservation

The Nature Conservancy: A grant of $1M helps provide nature-based solutions alongside clean energy policies, promote food and water sustainability, and aid in the building of healthier cities.

Using Tech for Agriculture and Aid

PlantVillage: A $500,000 grant helps this project based out of Pennsylvania State University combine predictive A.I. technology with local agricultural expertise across Africa and Asia. PlantVillage’s app, Nuru (Swahili for “light”), is helping farmers diagnose and treat crop diseases, and winning recognition in the scientific and tech fields. 

Fighting for Longer, Healthier Lives

American Heart Association: A $1,000 grant supported the launch of AHA’s programs in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including a rapid research fund and accelerated development of antiviral treatments.

Centering Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts: A grant of $500,000 will allow the D.C. museum to add new gallery space, a reading room, archives, and capacity for education and artmaking in the first major renovation since opening its doors in 1987.

Protecting a Natural Wonder

Grand Canyon Trust: A $1M grant helps protect and sustain the Four Corners region, home not only to Grand Canyon National Park, but other protected land like National Forests, National Monuments, and sovereign tribal lands.

50 Years of Essential Human Services

A New Leaf: A grant of $500,000 helps this 50-year-old human services organization in metro Phoenix provide services for more than 30,000 individuals, including education and childcare, financial and economic empowerment, assistance with housing and sexual and domestic violence prevention services. 

Giving Trends

Donors adapted to new forms of charitable giving last year, matching emerging financial products and practices with their philanthropy.

Donors more than doubled their dollars committed to NPT’s impact investing portfolios, investing charitable assets in pools focused on economic equity and inclusion, environmental stewardship, and the advancement of women in the economy. Donors stepped up international grantmaking, sending 15% more grants to causes and organizations overseas.

0 Impact Investing

0 International Grants

Donors increased their contributions of cryptocurrency by a factor of 6 over last year, contributing the virtual currencies to their donor-advised funds for grantmaking today and in the future. The total number of charities donors granted to increased by 17% as new organizations formed in response to the pandemic and other emerging charitable needs.

Crypto Contributions

Increased 6x

Number of Charities

Increased 17%

How Our Donors Fund Their Philanthropy

Our generous donors fund their philanthropy through contributions. Whether they donate cash, appreciated securities or complex assets, every dollar goes to charitable purposes, including some that are invested to maximize their benefit until the donor chooses to make a grant recommendation.

Donors use their DAFs to support charitable missions today, to make multi-year recurring commitments, or to grow assets for a transformational gift at a later date.


NPT's total assets under management as of June 30, 2021.


Total contributions as of June 30, 2021.

Consolidated Statements 

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Board of Trustees (at time of publication)

Suzanne Yoon – CHAIR
Joram Borenstein
Ann Dugan
Julius Green, CPA, JD
Eileen R. Heisman
Stephen Hopkins
Dirk Jungé
Gerald Kerner
Linda K. Myers
Clark D. Pitcairn
Eric Reeves
Diana L. Sands
Paul Schreiber
Manish Shah
David Wezdenko
Kelly Williams, JD


NPT Leadership Team (at time of publication)

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

NPT is not affiliated with any of the organizations described herein, and the inclusion of any organization in this material should not be considered an endorsement by NPT of such organization, or its services or products.

Photos courtesy of organizations and photographers in the following order: Giving Kitchen, UN World Food Program/Claire Nevill, World Bicycle Relief, Helen Keller International/Joel Henderson, Philabundance, WonderLab Museum/Andrea Golden, November 2021, Exhibit: Hidden Life of Deserts, Hire Heroes USA, New Leash on Life USA, The Nature Conservancy, PlantVillage/PSU, National Museum of Women in the Arts/Reseeded: A Forest Floor Flow (Selection)
MISS CHELOVE, 2021; Printed mesh, 60 x 40 ft.; Commissioned by the National Museum of Women in the Arts with support provided by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; © MISS CHELOVE, A New Leaf. Other photos: iStock/Getty Images