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Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards $3.6 Million in Grants

March 29, 2012

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards $3.6 Million in Grants
Piper Trust’s January-March 2012 Investments to Support a Range of Needs, Innovations, and Populations

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced grants totaling more than $3.6 million—funds that will help strengthen Maricopa County communities in the areas of arts and culture, services for disadvantaged children, youth mentoring, healthcare initiatives, and older adults.

The Trust’s January through March 2012 investments cover a range of programs such as: developing effective new tools for parents of blind children so they may better coordinate multiple, complex services needed to support and educate their children; enhancing the sites of two significant cultural venues—Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden; and expanding the “Encore Fellows” program—a program facilitated by Experience Matters, a nonprofit that capitalizes on the time and talent of older adults (age 50+) seeking paid or unpaid positions that apply their skills to social purposes.

“Baby boomers are hitting retirement ages at a rapid pace and there is great momentum to capture their interests and talents. Boomers often see retirement as an opportunity to participate and work in new ways that impact social causes they care about,” said Nora Hannah, CEO, Experience Matters. “Expanding the Encore Fellows program will allow us to place additional experienced adult professionals within organizations that may not typically be able to afford this level of talent.”

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will be recognized by the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C. for its work over the last decade in establishing effective public and private partnerships that support the development and care of Maricopa County’s older adults. On Friday, March 30, Piper Trust will receive the Arthur Flemming Award for its leadership in developing initiatives that promote healthy, independent, and productive living for older adults. There are 1.1 million people in Maricopa County who are age 50 or older.

“Piper Trust continues to have great foresight in developing civic opportunities for older adults who want to apply their experience to social causes. We commend Piper Trust’s leadership in making the value of older adults a priority. The Trust’s work in aging is a role model for funders throughout the country who want to make a difference for older adults in their communities” said Jim Firman, president and CEO, National Council on Aging.

Grants awarded January through March 2012 include (listed by grantmaking area):

Desert Botanical Garden /
Expand site to accommodate growing clientele and new cultural offerings.
$500,000 / 24 months

Phoenix Zoo /
Construct new visitor entrance.
$1,250,000 / 36 months

Foundation for Blind Children /
Develop tools for parents of blind children to navigate complex delivery systems.
$120,000 / 12 months

Gabriel’s Angels /
Expand intervention training to partner agency therapists and therapy teams.
$215,000 / 36 months

Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods /
Expand services for Chandler area youth.
$560,000 / 12 months

Science Foundation Arizona /
Provide a challenge grant to secure new donors.
$250,000 / 12 months

The Neighborhood Christian Clinic /
Add three half-day health clinics.
$150,000 / 36 months

Valle del Sol, Inc. /
Renovate office space to create a pediatric clinic and purchase medical equipment.
$126,625 / 12 months

Arizona Town Hall /
Support the 100th Arizona Town Hall on civic engagement.
$5,000 / 12 months

Experience Matters Consortium* /
Support four additional Encore Fellowship positions.
$80,000 / 12 months

Solecito Services, Inc. /
Expand service and restore or purchase medical equipment.
$44,500 / 24 months

Valley of the Sun United Way /
Support of the Homelessness and Hunger Funders Collaborative project (continuation of Community Relief Grant).
$300,000 / 12 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 $290 million in local nonprofits and programs. The Trust had total grants paid of $21.6 million in fiscal year 2011. 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