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Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Names 2016 Piper Fellows and Highlights Recent Grantmaking

February 9, 2017

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Names 2016 Piper Fellows and Highlights Recent Grantmaking

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust’s recent investments emphasize the importance of encouraging nonprofit leaders and fortifying essential work underway in our social profit community—the organizations that strive daily to care for and enrich the lives of those they serve. Following are highlights along with the complete listing of recent grants.

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust named its 16th class of Piper Fellows—four social profit leaders dedicated to improving and enhancing lives in Maricopa County. The newly selected Piper Fellows, chosen via a competitive process, will complete their fellowships in 2017 and become part of the larger and enduring Piper Fellows community. The 2016 Piper Fellows are: Katherine Cecala, President, Junior Achievement of Arizona; JoAnne Chiariello, Director, Family Support Services, AASK—Aid to Adoption of Special Kids; Leah Fregulia, Head of School and CEO, Arizona School for the Arts; and Amy Schwabenlender, Vice President of Community Impact, Valley of the Sun United Way. Further information about the 2016 Piper Fellows and the program is available here.

“Our four new Piper Fellows bring experience and vigor to the Trust and the Fellows’ community. Each designed an impressive and substantive fellowship plan with intentions to strengthen and evolve their talents, and ultimately build resilience organizationally and within the larger community,” said Susan Pepin, MD, MPH, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. “We look forward to learning from them,” Pepin said.

Following lists grants awarded June through December 2016; grants for this period total more than $7.6 million.


Act One
Upgrade technology to support marketing and development strategies.
$104,000 / 24 months

Arizona Opera
Upgrade set projection equipment.
$432,000 / 24 months

Arizona State University Foundation
Implement audience engagement initiative at ASU Art Museum.
$72,000 / 12 months

Childsplay, Inc.
Upgrade technology and fund development infrastructure.
$270,000 / 24 months

Desert Botanical Garden
Support enhanced cultural offerings through The Saguaro Initiative (Capital Campaign).
$1,500,000 / 24 months

Herberger Theater Center
Upgrade technology and purchase equipment to support marketing and fundraising initiatives.
$88,000 / 12 months

Musical Instrument Museum
Expand space and programming for Experience Gallery.
$150,000 / 12 months


Arizona Centers for Comprehensive Education and Life Skills
Renovate building and outdoor learning equipment at east campus facility.
$80,000 / 24 months

Native American Connections, Inc.
Support children’s services programming at Patina Wellness Center (Capital Campaign).
$200,000 / 12 months

Sojourner Center
Expand services for children through implementation of new Child Integrated Circle of Care Model.
$400,000 / 24 months

Upward for Children and Families
Upgrade and enlarge campus to serve additional children and young adults (Capital Campaign).
$304,000 / 12 months


Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children
Purchase and implement online tool that facilitates service sharing among early learning providers.
$236,500 / 36 months

Neighborhood Ministries, Inc.
Support new Academic Success Center to serve children and youth with comprehensive educational programs (Capital Campaign).
$360,000 / 12 months


Keogh Health Connection
Expand outreach activities for children’s health insurance enrollment program.
$267,500 / 24 months

Valle del Sol, Inc.
Renovate clinic to provide integrated healthcare for children and youth.
$171,000 / 12 months


Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
Implement new home healthcare services for Latino older adults.
$380,000 / 36 months

Piper Trust Encore Prizes for Exceptional Organizations recognize exemplary efforts in engaging people age 50+ in social purpose work. Encore prizes of $5,000 were awarded to the following organizations: Be Kind People Project Foundation, Circle the City, and Sun Sounds of Arizona, which also received the $50,000 Encore Enhancement Prize.


Piper Fellows (four 2016 Fellows named above) are each awarded up to $30,000 for their self-designed, professional development sabbatical and $10,000 for staff development. Piper Fellows Organizational Enhancement Awards of up to $50,000 support a specific project to address a major opportunity or challenge facing a Fellow’s organization. Piper Fellows Organizational Enhancement Awards for this reporting period:

Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation (Piper Fellow Jan Dougherty)
Implement community initiative for dementia support.
$50,000 / 12 months

Mesa Arts Center Foundation (Piper Fellow Cindy Ornstein)
Support strategic planning and community engagement projects.
$50,000 / 12 months


Arizona State University Foundation
Support Central Idea collaboration.
$25,000 / 12 months

Institute for Sustainable Communities
Implement community resilience partnership.
$1,394,000 / 37 months


Piper Trust’s Good Governance Fund for grantees supports efforts to strengthen nonprofit board governance practices and leadership. A total of $196,000 Good Governance grants were awarded to the following 14 organizations: About Care; Children’s Museum of Phoenix; Child Crisis Arizona; Chrysalis Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Inc.; Feeding Matters; Fountain Hills Community Theater, Inc.; ICAN; iTheatre Collaborative; Jazz in Arizona, Inc.; Open Hearts; Phoenix Rescue Mission; Stardust Non-Profit Building Supplies, Inc.; Theater Works; Valley of the Sun YMCA.

Due to unanticipated funding cuts, Trustees awarded a total of $651,000 to the following nonprofits that provide essential services to vulnerable populations of children: Arizona Kids Think Too; Association for Supportive Child Care; Boy Scouts of America—Grand Canyon Council, Inc.; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale; Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix; Phoenix Day; The Salvation Army; Valley of the Sun YMCA.

About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust:
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $370 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @PiperTrust; visit us on Facebook.


Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 /
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust