What the Virginia G. Piper Trust Has Been Up To In Arizona

With assets over $500 million, the Phoenix-based Virginia G. Piper Trust remains locally committed to the people and issues of Maricopa County. Since this funder does not consider requests from organizations outside these geographical confines, this is a great local funder for Phoenix-area nonprofits to watch.

Here are a few examples of what the trust has been up to lately and what you need to know as a new grantseeker.

Technology in Catholic Schools

Virginia G. Piper was a woman of strong faith, and accordingly, the Piper Trust often supports faith-based organizations. In April 2014, the trust announced a $4.75 million grant to expand and enhance classrooms in six Catholic high schools. This grant money is going toward improving technology in the schools to improve academic achievement and prepare students for modern careers.

Staffing and Equipment in Health Centers

The Piper Trust recently awarded $148,000 to Sun Health to expand its Center for Health and Wellbeing programs to the Southwest Valley in 2015. This particular center will be located in the La Loma Rehabilitation Center in Litchfield Park and offer classes and consultations about diabetes management, exercise, nutrition, and weight loss.

Historical and Cultural Museums

Also in 2014, the trust gave $500,000 to Scottsdale Museum of the West. Set to open on January 15, 2015, this museum will be a premier cultural destination showcasing artwork, artifacts, exhibits, multimedia presentations, and public events to celebrate “The West’s Most Western Town.” Piper’s grant will be put to use designing and implementing audiovisual technologies, communications systems, and interactive media for the new $11.4 million museum. A 135-seat theater/auditorium will be named after the trust and host film productions, programs, and events about the history of the West.

Unsolicited Letters of Inquiry Are Accepted

Fortunately for new grantseekers, the trust accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry throughout the year and there are no deadlines to mark on your calendar. Grantseekers need to complete an online grant summary form and attach a two-page letter of inquiry. However, the trust encourages grantseekers to call the staff before submitting anything to ensure a project aligns closely enough with the trust’s guidelines.

Arizona Has a Unique Place in Philanthropy

“Arizona doesn't have the established philanthropic tradition older cities enjoy,” explained Trustee Judy Jolly Mohraz. “The foundation world is still thin for the sixth-largest city in the nation, but the good news is a number of major foundations arose over the last 15 years. Because many of the foundations grew up together, we naturally began to collaborate in ways that are uncommon in other cities.”

Related Read IP’s Profile of the Virginia G. Piper Trust