Minimums equal higher charitable impact

Vanguard Charitable’s minimum contributions and grants are designed to enable donors to be more strategic with their giving and ultimately provide a higher benefit to charities.

We believe a substantial minimum contribution leads to higher impact philanthropy. Donors willing to commit significant money are more likely to be seriously committed to philanthropy. And a larger amount of money invested will compound at a higher rate to grow for larger, more impactful grants down the road—while still fulfilling current granting needs.

In addition, a higher minimum grant minimizes charities’ processing of donations, saving them valuable time and expenses.

At the same time, our minimums allow us to keep processing expenses as low as possible, creating savings that we pass along to donors and that in turn enable them to grant more to charity.
 


Higher minimum contribution = higher philanthropic impact

Look at the difference a higher minimum contribution can make over 20 years.
 

Scenario 1: Donor makes initial minimum contribution of $25,000 in year 1

Annual grant: 5%
Asset allocation: 60% stocks/40% bonds
Total grant dollars for 20 years: $31,019.41
Balance at end of 20 years (granting will continue beyond that): $32,104.95
Total charitable impact for 20 years: $63,124.36

 

Scenario 2: Donor makes initial minimum contribution of $5,000 in year 1 and $5,000 in each of years 2-5

Annual grant: 5%
Asset allocation: 60% stocks/40% bonds
Total grant dollars for 20 years: $23,226.43
Balance at end of 20 years (granting will continue beyond that): $26,668.41
Total charitable impact for 20 years: $49,894.84

 

Scenario 3: Donor makes initial minimum contribution of $5,000 in year 1

Annual grant: 5%
Asset allocation: 60% stocks/40% bonds
Total grant dollars for 20 years: $6,203.88
Balance at end of 20 years (granting will continue beyond that): $6,420.99
Total charitable impact for 20 years: $12,624.87

 


Minimum contribution amount

The minimum to open a new account is $25,000, with a minimum contribution after that of $5,000.

Due to the complexity of processing certain types of assets, the minimum contributions for these assets may be higher:


 


Minimum grant amount

Our minimum grant amount is $500.

While nonprofits appreciate donations of all sizes, the costs involved in processing each contribution include precious time, resources, and manpower. It can be much more efficient to process one $500 gift than ten $50 gifts. Larger gifts are also especially valuable for securing long-term goals, planning and budgeting for the future, providing a major boost during down times, encouraging others in matching challenges, or fueling fundraising campaigns. For more on our $500 grant minimum, please read this blog.