Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is a private foundation that supports nonprofit organizations and community partners in strengthening the quality of life of the people of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Now in its 25th year of awarding grants, the Trust has invested more than $725 million in local nonprofits and programs.

Piper Trust concentrates its grantmaking and initiatives in six core areas—arts and culture, children, education, healthcare and medical research, older adults, and religious organizations—and works side-by-side with local nonprofits to help build their capacity and expertise, identify problems and find solutions, and become more stable and effective.

Guided by our founder’s passion and commitment to philanthropy, the Trust strives to be a vital part of our community—not only as a source of leadership and investment, but as a neighbor sharing a lasting stake in its long-term future—and remains committed to being nimble in support of its ever-changing needs.



Responsive Grantmaking

Reflecting Virginia Piper’s own grantmaking, Piper Trust uses six core program areas to focus the foundation’s efforts and conducts a relationship-focused grantmaking process in which program staff works closely with potential grantees to support the development of effective proposals. The Trust also supports initiatives, programs, and projects that address unique community needs and expand our impact.

Nonprofit Support

Piper Trust provides resources to strengthen the leadership and capacity of local nonprofit organizations and grantees, ranging from grant development and program consultation to marketing, technology, board development, and strategic planning grants. The Trust also provides support and professional development opportunities for local nonprofit leaders through Piper Fellows, Piper Academies, and other special programs.

Community Leadership

Piper Trust takes a leadership role in fostering collaboration among community organizations and other philanthropic foundations to address the ever-changing needs of Maricopa County—a region that includes Phoenix and is home to 4.5 million people—and create lasting, positive change.




First Board of Trustees meeting

“You are the four people I am entrusting with this trust,” Virginia Galvin Piper had told the original lifetime Trustees: James Bruner, Paul Critchfield, Laura Grafman, and Robert Williams. They began the work of stewarding her philanthropic legacy shortly after her death on June 14, 1999. Art DeCabooter was appointed lifetime Trustee after the death of Robert Williams in 2000.


Trustees award eight Cornerstone Grants

A total of $41 million was awarded to eight organizations in Maricopa County to which Mrs. Piper was particularly devoted in her lifetime: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix Symphony, Roman Catholic Church of Phoenix, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Xavier College Preparatory.


Inaugural Piper Fellowships awarded

The Piper Fellows program recognizes and supports exemplary nonprofit leaders and their organizations. The Trust has awarded 111 fellowships since the program’s inception.


Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center opens

In 2000 Piper Trust awarded Scottsdale Healthcare (now HonorHealth) a $15 million Cornerstone Grant toward construction of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.

First cycle of grants of competitive grants awarded

Piper Trust awarded a total of nearly $11.5 million to 68 organizations.


Inaugural Back to School Grants

Piper Trust’s Back-to-School Grants program provides select Maricopa County schools with funding to meet clothing and other essential needs for vulnerable students. To date, this annual program has provided more than $10.5 million to schools across our community.

$10M grant for new creative writing center at ASU

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University offers fellowships, scholarships, and high-quality literary programming that reflect Mrs. Piper’s passion for the written word.


Launch of the Arizona Parent Kit

Piper Trust initiated this project to provide information and resources to help new parents care for their baby and support their healthy development. First Things First took the project statewide in 2010.

$1M grant to expand camp for children with special needs

The Trust’s grant to Whispering Hope Ranch, now a program of Child Crisis Arizona, helped expand and enhance the camp facility for children with special needs and their families.

Milestone: $100M in grants


$4.5M grant to create cancer research institute

HonorHealth Research Institute (formerly the Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute) has conducted research, developed new cancer drugs, and served thousands of patients with expanded care through clinical trials.


$1M grant for Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s NICUs

The grant funded the renovation and expansion of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care units to better serve critically-ill newborns.

$297K grant to City of Tempe to implement Experience Corps

Experience Corps pairs older adults with young students for one-on-one tutoring to improve foundational reading skills. Now in its 18th year, Tempe’s program serves as the model for AARP Experience Corps programs across Arizona and the United States.


Partnership for Personalized Medicine at ASU

A $35 million investment by Piper Trust and $10 million from the Flinn Foundation launched a major new health initiative, in partnership with Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), seeking to improve the effectiveness of healthcare while reducing its costs, and advancing science education. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Leland Hartwell was later appointed to lead the effort. Established in 2009, researchers at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics have fueled groundbreaking advances in cancer research and treatment.

$1M for capital campaign to build Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix has welcomed more than 4 million visitors since opening its doors in June 2008.

Milestone: $200M in grants


Community relief grants in response to economic crisis

Throughout the financial crisis, Piper Trust collaborated with other funding organizations to provide grants to nonprofit agencies providing critical human services, including homelessness and hunger, in Maricopa County.

$8M grant to renovate 25 Catholic elementary schools

Following an independent needs assessment, the Trust’s grant to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix funded critical health and safety capital improvements for 25 Catholic elementary schools in Maricopa County.


Grant to develop fundraising plan for Franciscan Renewal Center

Piper Trust’s $189,000 grant helped Franciscan Renewal Center organize and direct a long-term, comprehensive fundraising plan which evolved into a successful $22 million capital campaign to provide the capacity and resources to sustain “the Casa” for decades to come.

Funding to launch Culture Pass program

Piper Trust’s $150,000 grant to the Phoenix Art Museum helped launch and sustain the program to distribute free passes to arts and cultural institutions at public libraries. Now administered by Act One, passes are available at over 175 libraries across Arizona, and more than 500,000 passess are offered annually.

Milestone: $250M in grants


$1M grant for high-quality preschool program

The Trust’s investment brought Educare’s research-based early learning program for at-risk children to the Balsz School District. The program has served more than 1,000 low-income children and families.

Funding mobile health services

Piper Trust’s $168,300 grant to Mission of Mercy funded a second mobile van to increase medical services to West Valley families with limited access to healthcare. More than a decade later, Mission of Mercy operates six mobile medical clinics across Maricopa County.


Launch of the Maricopa Family Support Alliance

Maricopa Family Support Alliance grew out of Piper Trust’s commitment to explore the strength of coalition building among organizations serving the complex social needs of families. The Alliance is now an established and growing network of nearly 100 nonprofits and public agencies ranging from healthcare to housing.


Piper Trust is founding partner and lead funder in Read On Arizona

Read On Arizona is our state’s early literacy initiative, leading a collaboration of state and local partners to improve language and literacy outcomes for children from birth to age 8. From 2013 to 2022, Arizona was one of only six states to make gains in fourth grade reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), improving from 45th to 28th in the nation.

$1.65M grant for Experience Matters

The vision to create Experience Matters, a model that connects social sector organizations and experienced adults focused on civic service, was made possible through the founding and continued support of Piper Trust. Now a program of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, Experience Matters has helped expand the capacity of 600 local nonprofits.

First cohort of grantees for ATLAS capacity building project

ATLAS helps nonprofit organizations assess and address operating challenges. Participating organizations also receive grant funds to support organizational capacity improvements. Thirty different organizations have participated since the program’s inception.


$2M grant to build Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Part of a $20 million capital campaign for Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, the Trust’s grant helped complete an expansion project to serve more patients with state-of-the-art facilities and care.


$500K grant to help launch Western Spirit museum

Piper Trust’s grant funded the design and implementation of technology, communications, and interactive media for Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which opened in January 2015. The Trust has continued to support Western Spirit, which was recently named the #1 museum of the West in the country and broke ground on a major expansion in 2024.

$4.75M to expand technology at six Catholic high schools

The Trust’s grant to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix expanded classroom technology at six Catholic high schools and enhanced the learning of thousands of students.


Piper Trust launches initiative for children’s vision health

Eyes On Learning was created to coordinate statewide efforts to ensure all children have effective vision screening and the appropriate follow-up services that are essential to good health and learning success. Partners in Eyes On Learning were instrumental in the passage of new legislation, passed in 2019, requiring vision screening in all public and charter schools in Arizona and the funding and training resources required for its implementation. As a result, approximately 500,000 children annually will get the vision screenings they need.

$1.25M grant to the Heard Museum

Funding from the Trust was used to renovate and expand gallery space to accommodate larger exhibitions and greater integration of technology. An internationally-recognized museum dedicated to the advancement of American Indian Art, the Heard Museum’s Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Grand Gallery opened in February of 2017.


$4M for new pediatric emergency department and trauma center

The Trust’s grant was part of Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s $40 million capital campaign to build a new pediatric emergency department and level one trauma center, which opened in 2017 and is now one of the busiest pediatric trauma centers in the nation and the only verified level one pediatric trauma center in Arizona.

Building community resilience

Piper Trust partnered with Institute for Sustainable Communities for a multi-year project to assess and strengthen community resilience in Maricopa County. Informed by more than 200 representatives of arts and culture, social services, healthcare, education, philanthropy, the private sector, and local and state government, the Building Community Resilience report serves as a framework to shape the Trust’s programming and grantmaking.

$1M for vision clinic and preschool for blind and low vision children

The Trust’s capital campaign gift helped Foundation for Blind Children build the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Low Vision Clinic to serve clients young and old experiencing vision loss and also expand its early learning programs. FBC now has the largest preschool for the blind and visually impaired in the country.


$3M to community colleges to help students succeed

Piper Trust’s grant to Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation for the Achieving a College Education (ACE) program helps at-risk high school students stay in school, graduate, and enroll in college.

$1.43M to build independent living facility for adults with autism

The Trust’s gift to First Place AZ’s capital campaign helped develop and construct a one-of-a-kind residential property for adults with autism and different abilities. First Place Phoenix opened its doors to residents in July 2018 and has become a world-renowned model of residential living for neurodiverse individuals.


$3M to support advances in cancer and neurological research

The Trust’s $2 million grant to the Barrow Neurological Foundation supported construction of the Barrow Neuroplex, a state-of-the-art neurological institute which opened in 2021. A $1 million grant to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) supports the John S. McCain III Endowed Chair in Brain Cancer Research to to turn genetic research breakthroughs into medical advances in brain cancer treatment.

$3M to strengthen Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera

Piper Trust awarded grants to strengthen the financial capacity and resilience of The Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera. The Trust awarded an additional $1.5 million to Phoenix Symphony, Arizona’s largest performing arts organization, to expand collaborative programming.

Milestone: $400M in grants


Piper Trust marks 20th anniversary with additional $20M to grantees

To commemorate its 20th anniversary and honor Virginia Piper’s legacy, the Trust invested an additional $20 million over five years to build the organizational capacity of many of its grantees.

$10M grant to build Arizona health sciences campus

Piper Trust’s $10 million grant to Creighton University helped establish a new health sciences building and four-year medical school in Phoenix to build a pipeline of skilled medical professionals to serve our community. The campus opened in 2021 and will be home to nearly 1,000 health sciences students by 2025.


Trustees respond to Covid-19 with unprecedented level of grantmaking

In response to the unprecedented health and socioeconomic crisis, Piper Trust dipped into its endowment for the first time in its history to support nonprofits with unrestricted Covid-19 emergency grants. Extending over multiple years, the Trust awarded more than $34 million in pandemic-related grants to Maricopa County nonprofits.


Trustees make historic “Now is the Moment” grants totalling $123M

Piper Trust’s endowment grew by $123 million in the tumultuous 15 months following the start of the pandemic. As stewards of Virginia G. Piper’s philanthropic legacy, Trustees felt compelled to share with the community all of the earnings in one swift action. “Now is the Moment” grants were presented to 71 local nonprofits—as a complete surprise—throughout the day on September 13, 2021, the largest single-day grant initiative in Arizona’s history. Trustees personally met with the CEOs and board chairs of the organizations to thank them for their work and leadership and award the grants to help secure their futures.

Milestone: $500M in grants

Research from the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU conservatively estimated the economic impact of Piper Trust’s $500 million in philanthropic investments in Maricopa County over 20 years at 4,000 job-years of employment, $213 million in labor income, and nearly $500 million in total contribution to the state’s gross domestic product. In addition, “these numbers don’t factor in social impact—things like the numbers of people who have benefited from health, human services, or educational programs funded by the Trust; or the number of arts and culture initiatives that have improved the quality of life within the local community. If we could accurately measure all of those things, the absolute impact of the Trust’s support for nonprofits and programs over the last 20 years could be at least double or triple the GDP impact.”

$10M to expand healthcare partnership, address disparities

Piper Trust invested $10 million in a collaboration with St. Vincent de Paul and Creighton University to add staff and services to the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Medical Clinic to expand care for uninsured, underserved patients, improve outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs. The partnership is transforming health sciences education and the quality of care provided for underserved populations in the Valley.


$3M to Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley for youth mental health services

Piper Trust joined with The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation as part of a public-private partnership with the Arizona Department of Education to fund the Whole Child Approach, a three-year, $9 million pilot program to provide free behavioral health interventions to alleviate social and emotional stress among underrepresented and at-risk children and teens.

$3.2M to Valleywise Health for new medical training facility

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Pavilion, which opened in 2023, is a state-of-the-art learning and teaching hub serving more than 3,500 physician residents, nursing, and other health program students annually. The Piper Pavilion was the first new building on Valleywise’s Roosevelt campus in 30 years and is adjacent to the new Valleywise Health Medical Center, which opened in 2024.


Arts and Culture Forward grants

To help arts and culture partners in their ongoing transition to new normals following the pandemic, the Trust awarded $5,760,000 to 42 organizations in a one-time grant initiative called “Arts & Culture Forward” to provide flexible funding to pivot, innovate, or reposition for the future.

$2.25M to expand licensed practical nurse program

To address the predicted workforce needs for the nursing profession, Piper Trust supported Maricopa Community College District with a grant to create and implement the licensed Fast Track Practical Nursing program now available at GateWay, Glendale, and Mesa Community Colleges.

Building capacity of nonprofits to collect and use client feedback

Piper Trust’s $150,000 grant to Tides Center supports nonprofit partners in using Listen4Good’s systematic approach to build their capacity to collect and use feedback from the people they serve.


Investing in more effective, affordable pediatric healthcare

Continuing its investment in the partnership with St. Vincent de Paul and Creighton University that created the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Medical Clinic, the Trust has now endowed a new position, the Piper Chair in Pediatric Medicine, to meet the pressing need for better, more affordable care for a growing number of young patients at the clinic.

Milestone: In 25 years of grantmaking, Piper Trust has awarded more than $725M