Page Header Graphic

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards $2.8 Million in Grants

July 18, 2012

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards $2.8 Million in Grants
Piper Trust’s April—June 2012 Investments Advance New Programs and New Starts

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced grants totaling more than $2.8 million—funds that will help enrich Maricopa County communities in the areas of arts and culture, services for disadvantaged children, healthcare, and strengthening the nonprofit sector. Piper Trust’s April through June 2012 investments showcase exemplars of distinctive ways that nonprofits are collaborating and rethinking business models.

For example, Arizona Museum for Youth, founded in 1978 as the first fine arts focused children’s museum in the U.S., is working to create a “Traveling Arts Exhibition Business”—themed art exhibits installed in other nonprofits that will serve to expand its audience and eventually become a new revenue stream for the organization. Arizona Museum for Youth’s Executive Director Sunnee O’Rork received an “Organizational Enhancement Award” from Piper Trust as a result of her Piper Fellowship. Piper Fellows are eligible to apply for this special project-specific award in an effort to address opportunities or challenges facing their respective organizations.

“During my Piper Fellowship, I traveled across the country visiting numerous museums; the experience afforded me a foundation of research, a new network of colleagues, and a clear understanding about the logistics of best practices in the traveling exhibition/museum field,” explained O’Rork. “With our 35-year history of kid-tested and parent-approved interactive art exhibitions, Arizona Museum for Youth is in a great position to build on our success in a strategic and meaningful way through this new offering.”

Childsplay, a professional theatre experience designed for young audiences and families, will be expanding its facility. The expansion will help maximize operating efficiencies and importantly, offer new opportunities for other small and emerging arts organizations to lease production space via discounted shared use agreements.

In the initiatives category—Piper Trust has a history of proactively leading and developing programs intended to strengthen nonprofit organizations and their leadership so they can serve the community’s ever growing needs. In fall 2012, the Trust, in partnership with ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation and nonprofit lifecycle expert, Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens, will launch “ATLAS” a two-year initiative designed to strengthen and sustain the operating capacity of Trust-identified nonprofits that play important roles in Maricopa County’s human service, civic, and cultural life.

Also, with a new school year just around the corner, via the Trust’s “Back to School Grants,” 289 public elementary schools in Maricopa County will receive aid to support their students with necessary school clothes/uniforms to help them get off to a confident start.

“I commend the energy and reinvention that is continually underway by our nonprofit leaders who strive daily to improve quality of life in our communities year round,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

Grants awarded April through June 2012 include (listed by grantmaking area):


Arizona Museum for Youth /
Launch a Traveling Art Exhibition Business; a new earned income revenue stream pilot project.
$50,000 / 12 months

Childsplay, Inc. /
Expand and improve facility to support growth opportunities identified through new business model.
$290,000 / 24 months

Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children /
Develop and implement a mariachi music program.
$65,000 / 36 months

The Phoenix Symphony /
Enhance marketing initiative to strengthen client base and support new musical director search.
$300,000 / 18 months


Scottsdale Prevention Institute /
Implement a parent training program to increase literacy on health practices for young children.
$55,330 / 12 months

John and Doris Norton School, Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona* /
Strengthen afterschool/youth programs in Maricopa County.
$1,065,379 / 60 months

Back to School Grants
Provide 289 public elementary schools within 41 districts in Maricopa County with school clothing grants.
$505,200 / 12 months


Circle the City /
Establish medical respite center for homeless adults.
$250,000 / 24 months


Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation, Arizona State University* /
Support “ATLAS”—a program to build strength and endurance within nonprofits.
$248,500 / 30 months

About Piper Trust:
A private independent foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors Virginia Galvin Piper’s philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening community in Maricopa County (Arizona). By investing in nonprofits and encouraging strategic planning for the future, Piper Trust strives to make Maricopa County a stronger, more nurturing and vibrant community. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested $295 million in local nonprofits and programs. The Trust had total grants paid of $21.9 million in fiscal year 2012. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education and religious organizations. For more information, visit


* A grant originally awarded to a foundation or 501c3 organization that funds an agreed upon program or product.



Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 / [email protected]
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
1202 East Missouri Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona  85014