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Giving Matters blog

The Giving Matters blog is a way for our leadership team to share their perspectives on trends in philanthropy, charitable planning strategies, and more.

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Kevin Cavanaugh's picture

Save to Give: Planning for your ‘philanthropy retirement’

October 19, 2017

Vanguard Charitable is celebrating its 20th year of operation. For me, as the chief financial officer, part of what this means is that we now have 20 years’ worth of market data to consider. We can look at how charitable investments made in our very first year would have performed in the intervening time and use real-life evidence to examine our 'Save to Give' mantra, our belief that long-term, strategic philanthropy is the most effective way to make a difference.

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Brad Caswell's picture

Why $500?

October 05, 2017

One thing that sets Vanguard Charitable apart from other donor-advised funds is our $500 grant minimum. Donors occasionally inquire about this policy, asking if they can give in smaller increments. We take this feedback to heart, as we aim to always be responsive to our donors’ needs–our goal, after all, is to provide the flexibility and control you need to facilitate your philanthropic strategies as effectively as possible. At the same time, the $500 minimum reflects a strategic decision on our part to remain committed to our overall mission: Increasing philanthropy and maximizing its impact over time.

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Ann Gill's picture

Intergenerational giving: How our charitable practices influence our children—and vice versa

August 16, 2017

It’s summer—a time of long, sun-washed days, family vacations, and, at Vanguard Charitable, an annual tradition we call Community Days. These volunteer outings are one of the most gratifying ways we take time off work, as each team member chooses from a collection of service opportunities that have been developed in tandem with local nonprofits. This year, team members will cage and protect young oak trees in a nearby land preserve, cheer on elderly individuals in the Olympics-style “Golden Games,” and support at-risk youth at a back-to-school event—to name just a few of the options. This time out of the office is time well-spent; the tradition of Community Days helps us put our values to work and our mission into action.

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Rebecca Moffett's picture

A charity's infrastructure can be as important as its mission: Overhead is OK

July 18, 2017

I recently attended a conference focused on enhancing the infrastructure of philanthropy. The attendees came from a variety of backgrounds, from academics doing first-of-its-kind research on generational giving to companies focused on increasing workplace giving, to large foundations, and donor-advised funds. As we sat together sharing what we have learned, what works for us, what others might consider doing, and how we can work together to accomplish these goals, the theme of investing in charities’ infrastructure came up with a few different interpretations.

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Joe Davis's picture

Time to look at your charitable asset mix?

June 28, 2017

In my previous blog, I discussed how you can protect and grow your charitable assets in this low-return investment environment and noted that you have two basic options: saving more and selecting the right asset allocation. Since I’m an investment guy, I’m now going to dive a little more into that latter option.

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Jane Greenfield's picture

The charitable giving junction of short-term needs and long-term impact

June 20, 2017

Amazon founder and philanthropist Jeff Bezos recently turned to Twitter to solicit ideas for his philanthropy, a novel outreach for a relatively quiet donor. We at Vanguard Charitable were excited by his tweet, which generated thousands of ideas, retweets and media coverage, because we believe it is very important to keep the topic of charitable giving front and center and encourage conversation on it.

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Joe Davis's picture

Balancing donors’ objectives in a low-return investment environment

May 11, 2017

I recently had the honor of making a presentation to the Vanguard Charitable board of trustees on Vanguard’s economic and markets outlook. It was part of an investment overview that Vanguard, as the provider for most of Vanguard Charitable’s investment options, prepares annually for the board.

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Jane Greenfield's picture

20 years of impact

April 24, 2017

Just recently, Vanguard Charitable quietly met a remarkable milestone: $6.5 billion in grants to charitable organizations since inception. Reflecting on this achievement, I confess I find it daunting to wrap my head around what $6.5 billion means to the philanthropic community. What impact it has had and what types of charitable organizations have benefitted from the extraordinary generosity of our donors?

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Jane Greenfield's picture

Charities need your support all year long, kickstart the conversation this #GivingTuesday

November 14, 2016

The power of the voice never ceases to amaze me. These days we see individuals raising their voices in a unique way, especially through social media. Never has this been more evident than in the astronomical rise of #GivingTuesday, an online appeal for donations on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This largely social media-driven campaign has taken off in the past few years, and in 2015 a whopping $116 million was raised by nearly 700,000 donors.

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Ann Gill's picture

Working together: Private foundations & donor-advised funds

March 01, 2016

When comparing your private foundation to donor-advised funds, many ask the same question: Do I maintain my foundation or open a philanthropic account? For those with a private foundation, considering other charitable giving vehicles to maximize the impact of your philanthropy can often be seen as an "either/or" decision. While both of these giving options offer different benefits, the choice doesn't have to be one or the other.

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