Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust continues rapid response to COVID-19 crisis with additional $2.9 million in emergency grants

April 29, 2020

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust continues rapid response to COVID-19 crisis with additional $2.9 million in emergency grants


PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has awarded $2,510,000 in emergency grants to help six hospitals and hospital systems in Maricopa County respond to the COVID-19 health crisis. The Trust also contributed $350,000 to the new Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund and $50,000 to a collaborative effort to increase the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Arizona.

The emergency grants announced today are part of the Trust’s ongoing commitment to be nimble and strategic in directing resources where needed to address challenges of COVID-19 and its unprecedented ripple effects in our communities. Since March 30, Piper Trust has awarded emergency grants totaling $9.2 million. These grants were awarded to scientific research-based organizations working to resolve mysteries about and find treatments for novel coronavirus, and to human services and arts and cultural nonprofits that are vitally important to our social and economic infrastructure.

Hospitals and hospital systems that received emergency grants for their critical COVID-19 work are:

  • Banner Health Foundation, $750,000
  • Dignity Health Foundation, $500,000
  • HonorHealth Foundation, $500,000
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital, $250,000
  • Valleywise Health Foundation (formerly Maricopa Integrated Health System), $500,000
  • Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation, $10,000

The unrestricted grants will help these hospitals and hospital systems adapt and respond directly to the pandemic, such as treating patients with a presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Grant funds may also be used to support other hospital needs that have emerged due to the crisis, such as supplies, equipment, or services for healthcare professionals and staff.

“Hospitals are ground zero in the local fight of a global pandemic,” Mary Jane Rynd, president and CEO of Piper Trust, said. “We are so fortunate to have such world-class healthcare institutions here. Now is the time to ensure we are here for them—as they are always here for us. These unrestricted grants will help our local healthcare leaders do what they know is best to support their institutions during this crisis.”

Local philanthropies are collaborating to strengthen our state’s response to mitigate the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In collaboration with Flinn Foundation and The Pakis Family Foundation, Piper Trust awarded $50,000 to the Arizona Apparel Foundation to support the work of its Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC), which is investing in an industrial-level, computerized cutting machine and dozens of additional sewing machines to produce much-needed PPE. Healthcare workers and first responders need PPE to do their jobs safely.

A newly designed, reusable gown is one of the items that FABRIC will produce. Dr. Ronald Gagliano of Dignity Health in Arizona is the creative mind behind the design of the gown.

“Dr. Gagliano has inspired us to think outside of our wheelhouse and find additional ways to help protect our frontline workers,” Leslie Lange, executive director of Arizona Apparel Foundation, said.

The Flinn Foundation coordinated philanthropic support for the FABRIC initiative.

“One lesson of this crisis is that only together will we get through it,” Tammy McLeod, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation, said. “These visionaries in Arizona’s fashion industry identified a desperate clinical need they could meet. I’m grateful for our philanthropic colleagues partnering to accelerate this work.”

Another collaborative effort underway is The Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund. This fund, established by the Arizona Community Foundation in partnership with a growing list of individuals, corporations, and foundations, supports nonprofit organizations across the state as they respond to the impact of COVID-19. Piper Trust contributed $350,000 to this fund.

The Council on Foundations, a global partner that helps guide and advance common good among philanthropies, established a “pledge of action” to hold foundations to a new standard of service for grantees during this crisis. Pledge signers agree to adjust grant restrictions and reporting requirements in the weeks and months ahead. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is a proud signatory of this call to action.

“The unprecedented time in which we live requires foundations to respond differently to meet pressing needs,” Rynd said. “Our social-profit community partners need flexibility to use grants as they see fit so their organizations can adapt and meet needs specific to their COVID-19-related challenges. Piper Trust is committed to the recovery of our community.”


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 $475 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; grantmaking to organizations by core area and/or year is available online at Grant Search. For more information, visit | @PiperTrust | Facebook.

Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 /
Chief Communications Officer, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Matt Ellsworth, 480-438-7608/
Vice President, Communications, Flinn Foundation