Total charitable impact


Right menu

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.

Subscribe to the blog
Blog authors
Commenting guidelines


Kevin Cavanaugh's picture

Save to give: How millennials will shape philanthropy

November 21, 2017

Each generation approaches philanthropy differently. With millennials in particular receiving a lot of attention recently, as ascending generations often do, I thought I would use the final blog in this series to see what we can expect in the way of charitable giving from this group.

Read more
Kevin Cavanaugh's picture

Save to give: Stretching your charitable dollars

November 02, 2017

In my last blog, the first in the three-part series, I discussed the advantages of using a donor-advised fund and the save to give mindset to maximize your ‘philanthropy retirement.’ I used real data from the past 20 years to demonstrate how a donor who opened an account with us in 1997 could have extended the duration of her giving from 10 to 20 years while increasing her total impact by 56%, providing her favorite charities with consistent, ongoing support. This time, I’d like to utilize the same investment performance data from the past 20 years to look at a new scenario.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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?

Read more