Our Story

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors the commitment of Virginia Galvin Piper in supporting organizations whose work enhances the lives of people in Maricopa County.

The wife of Motorola founder Paul V. Galvin, Virginia Galvin Piper sought to follow her husband’s philanthropic example by establishing a charitable legacy of her own. “For me,” she wrote, “managing the stewardship of charitable giving is a moment-to-moment dignified responsibility…”

Mrs. Piper established the Trust in 1995 and appointed four lifetime trustees to oversee the work of the foundation. Shortly after her death in 1999, the trustees began the formal work of the Trust. Upon settlement of Mrs. Piper’s estate in 2000, the Trust received approximately $600 million, making it one of the nation’s 100 largest foundations.

The Trust opened its offices in 2000 with a series of community conversations and later that year made eight cornerstone grants totalling $41 million to a select group of organizations that Mrs. Piper had supported over the years.

The Trust made its first round of competitive grants in February 2002, awarding a total of $11.5 million to 68 organizations.

“In our own lives, here in the world, we all have an opportunity to do ‘good things’ on a daily basis for others and to do them in an unselfish manner. . . . For me, managing the stewardship of charitable giving is a moment-to-moment dignified responsibility of a truly high calling in human affairs and human relations.”

– Virginia G. Piper

Reflecting Virginia Piper’s own philanthropy, Piper Trust uses six core program areas to focus the foundation’s efforts: arts and culture, children, education, healthcare and medical research, older adults, and religious organizations.

Each year nonprofits serving the people of Maricopa County receive an average of $25 million from Piper Trust. Since the Trust began awarding grants in 2000, it has invested more than $725 million in local nonprofits and programs.

More than a quarter century since its inception, the Trust continues to steward Virginia Galvin Piper’s extraordinary legacy and vision for a stronger, healthier, and more livable community.