National Philanthropic Trust Donor Grants Increase 54% to $2.11 Billion in Fiscal Year 2020

COVID Response Spurs Unprecedented Charitable Response During Second Half of Donor-Advised Fund Sponsor’s Fiscal Year

JENKINTOWN, PA, August 12, 2020  –  National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), the nation’s largest independent donor-advised fund (DAF) sponsor, and one of the top grantmaking institutions in the U.S., approved a record-breaking $2.11 billion in donor-recommended grants in Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1 to June 30). This aggregate grant dollar figure represents a 54% increase from the previous fiscal year ($1.39 billion).

NPT donors recommended 73,898 grants to 25,845 charities in all 50 states and around the world, representing an increase of 41% and 26% respectively compared to Fiscal Year 2019.

“NPT donors responded with generosity during this unprecedented time, both to emerging and established charities around the world,” said Eileen Heisman, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust.  “In the second half of Fiscal Year 2020, donors identified urgent needs that the Coronavirus pandemic created and responded swiftly to support charities in most every philanthropic sector, including public society benefit, human services, international affairs and education.”


NPT Fiscal Year 2020 Highlights, July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020

  • $2.11 billion in grants (54% increase compared to FY 2019)
  • 73,898 grants to U.S. and international charities (41% increase compared to FY 2019)

“We saw both focused and swift philanthropic responses from NPT DAF donors,” said Heisman. “Donors were looking to support a wide range of causes and nonprofits, directly or indirectly connected to COVID-19.  Those grants supported pandemic-related causes in their communities, nationally and globally.  Many were unrestricted as philanthropists are relying on nonprofits to allocate gifts to where the need was greatest.”

Continued Heisman, “DAF donors are listening, evolving, and learning how to be strategic partners with the charities and causes that mean most to them.  NPT donors’ priority was grants to reach nonprofits as quickly as possible.”


NPT Donors Respond to COVID Crisis

March, April, May, and June 2020, the volume of NPT grants increased an average of 49% and the dollar value increased an average of 85% compared to the same time period in 2019*.


Donation highlights included:

  • Boston: grant to a virology lab to support COVID-19 vaccine research
  • California: grant to help front-line workers secure personal protection equipment and medical centers with additional staffing
  • Chicago: grant to support animal welfare
  • Denver: unrestricted grant to help supply meals to students
  • Knoxville, TN: grant to fund food delivery for the elderly
  • New York City: grant to fund childcare for first responders
  • San Francisco: grant to help both small business owners and community members

“This has been a stressful time for the philanthropic sector,” said Heisman.  “We expect the generosity from NPT DAF donors, younger and older, will continue as charitable needs evolve in response to the pandemic, social equality and other causes.  NPT donors will continue to step up to respond.”



NPT’s UK affiliate NPT Transatlantic Ltd. (formerly NPT UK Ltd.) also saw historic grant levels in Fiscal Year 2020.  Grant value from NPT UK donors increased 183%, compared to the previous fiscal year.


About National Philanthropic Trust

Founded in 1996, National Philanthropic Trust is the largest, national, independent donor-advised fund sponsor and has raised more than $18.4 in charitable funding. NPT has made more than 346,636 grants to charities around the world. NPT annually publishes the Donor-Advised Fund Report, the industry’s authority on the state of DAF giving. Read more about NPT donor response to COVID-19 here. More at



*Updated 10/2020