National Philanthropic Trust Donor-Recommended Grants to Charities Surge 171% to $4.47 Billion in 2020

COVID-19 response and social justice movement spur historic donor-advised fund charitable giving. DAF donors granted to their traditional charities and recommended additional gifts in response to crisis.

JENKINTOWN, Pa.--()--National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), the largest national, independent public charity that manages donor-advised funds, granted $4.47 billion on behalf of its donors in 2020, representing an increase in value of 171% compared to 2019. NPT’s donors recommended 85,837 grants to nonprofits in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2020.

“Donors responded to the unprecedented year by recommending substantial grants to the charities that historically have meant most to them and then recommended additional grants to address the urgent needs created by the coronavirus pandemic and social justice movement,” said Eileen Heisman, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, marking its 25th Anniversary in 2021. “NPT DAF donors have continued to demonstrate by action that they are reliable and engaged philanthropists for charities both today and in the future.”

NPT grants increased both in value and volume to every charitable subsector in 2020. The Human Services, Public and Societal Benefit, Education, and Environment / Animal Welfare subsectors saw triple-digit percentage increases in value of grants compared to 2019.

“We saw our donors move quickly, many collectively as families, in response to the urgent needs of 2020,” continued Heisman. “Donors recommended grants to a wide range of causes and charities including child care for frontline workers, food security for seniors and children, vaccine research, zoo animal care, and equipment for remote learning.”

NPT 2020 Year-in-Review:

- $4.47 billion in donor-recommended grants, an increase of 171% compared to 2019
- 85,837 grants to every state and the District of Columbia and international charities, an increase of 37% compared to 2019

NPT’s UK affiliate, NPT UK, also saw historic donor-recommended grants to charities in 2020.

About National Philanthropic Trust
Founded in 1996, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) marks its 25th Anniversary in 2021 as the largest national, independent public charity that manages donor-advised funds and one of the leading grantmaking institutions in the U.S. Since its founding, NPT has raised more than $24 billion in charitable funding and has made more than 400,000 grants exceeding $12.4 billion to nonprofits around the world. NPT annually publishes the Donor-Advised Fund Report, the sector’s authority on the state of DAF philanthropy. Visit NPT’s resource library to learn what you can do with a DAF and NPT impact investing options. More at and


Richard Virgilio

Release Summary

COVID-19 drives 171% increase in grants from National Philanthropic Trust donors in 2020


Richard Virgilio