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History of Piper Trust

Philanthropy and Vision

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 of a truly high calling in human affairs and human relations.”

  • For the last three decades of her life Mrs. Piper lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona, where she moved from Chicago with her second husband, Kenneth M. Piper. During that time she worked quietly and steadily at strengthening Phoenix-area nonprofits.
  • Mrs. Piper established the Trust in 1995 and appointed four lifetime trustees to oversee the work of the foundation. Shortly after Mrs. Piper’s 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. This sum made the Trust one of the nation’s 100 largest foundations.

Devotedly, Virginia: The Life of Virginia Galvin Piper compiles over 100 interviews with people who knew Mrs. Piper.


  • In December 2000 a select group of organizations, which Mrs. Piper had supported over the years, received from the trustees eight Cornerstone Grants. These grants totaled $41 million.
  • February 2002 saw trustees award the first round of competitive grants, which totaled $11.5 million, to 68 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 $684 million in local nonprofits and programs as of as of July 2022.