Piper Trust awards major grant to the Center for Sustainable Health at Arizona State University (ASU)

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced grants totaling $4.7 million—an infusion of funds for the nonprofit community that will advance their work in the areas of arts and culture, services for disadvantaged children, youth mentoring, higher education research initiatives and civic engagement opportunities for older adults. A $3 million grant will be awarded to the Center for Sustainable Health at Arizona State University (ASU).

“Virginia Galvin Piper, who would have been 100 years old this past December [December 7, 2011], has had her grantmaking legacy in Maricopa County for 11 years now through Piper Trust. The diversity and quality shown in today’s collection of grant awards is a meaningful representation of Mrs. Piper’s wishes to strengthen and grow our community—she would be pleased,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, Ph.D., president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The Trust’s investment to expand ASU’s Center for Sustainable Health will further the Center’s innovative work addressing the collective power on how technology, economics and human behavior—when functioning effectively together—can greatly improve health outcomes and reduce the financial and human cost of disease. A key focus of the Center’s efforts with the grant will be healthy aging—a core area of engagement for Piper Trust.

“It’s imperative that health systems shift from an expensive and ineffective late-stage response to an effective prevention and early detection approach to health,” said Michael Birt, director, Center for Sustainable Health, Biodesign Institute, ASU. “We need to connect the elements of a health system—people, science, industry and policy—and create a new model that values quality, cost-effective, preventative healthcare focused on improving health outcomes. Piper Trust’s leadership and investment in this type of innovation and action will contribute to the transformation of health systems locally and globally.”

Another significant community impact will come from a $245,000 grant award to expand the City of Tempe’s Experience Corps project (Experience Corps is a national leader in engaging older adult tutors to improve Kindergarten through third grade student literacy in disadvantaged schools). Piper Trust’s investment will enable the City of Tempe to serve 750 children in 12 schools by engaging 100 older adults as tutors and mentors.

Grants awarded August through December 2011 include
(listed by grantmaking area):


  • Alliance for Audience /
    Assess and develop a plan for the organization’s technology needs.
    $16,500 / 3 months
  • Fountain Hills Community Theater /
    Replace lighting and sound equipment on the Main Stage and Youth Theater.
    $55,500 / 12 months
  • Musical Instrument Museum /
    Develop and execute a targeted marketing and communications campaign.
    $50,000 / 12 months


  • Assistance League of Phoenix /
    Establish an Executive Director position and expand a school clothing program serving disadvantaged children.
    $150,000 / 36 months
  • Back to School Clothing Drive /
    Expand a school uniform program serving disadvantaged children.
    $155,000 / 12 months


  • Arizona State University Foundation* / 
    Support of Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s “Arizona Directions” research project.
    $10,000 / 12 months
  • Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk, Inc. /
    Acquire and integrate “Arizona Quest for Kids” mentoring program.
    $200,000 / 24 months


  • Arizona State University Foundation* /
    Expand ASU’s Center for Sustainable Health.
    $3,000,000 / 36 months


  • City of Tempe Community Services Department /
    Provide “Experience Corps” program in 12 schools.
    $245,000 / 36 months
  • Experience Matters Consortium* /
    Develop and implement a staffing plan, funding strategy and six “Encore Fellowships.”
    $373,500 / 36 months


  • Arizona Endowment Building Planning Initiative /
    Develop and implement the “Planned Giving and Endowment Building Educational Continuum” curriculum.
    $150,000 / 36 months

Piper Fellows Program—2011 Fellows’ Sabbaticals
Provide $40,000 for each sabbatical over 12 months; fellowships support the exploration of leadership development practices, educational programs and best practice sites around the country.

Piper Fellows Program—Organizational Enhancement Awards
Support specific projects that address opportunities or challenges facing Piper Fellows’ organizations.

  • Adelante Healthcare /
    Support for healthcare innovation consulting services through “The Center for Health Design/Pebble Project” and a research intern.
    $49,320 / 12 months
  • The Beatitudes Campus /
    Expand the internal non-medical home care program to older adults living outside the retirement campus.
    $50,000 / 12 months

About Piper Trust:

A private independent foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors Virginia Galvin Piper’s philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening community in Maricopa County (Arizona). By investing in nonprofits and encouraging strategic planning for the future, Piper Trust strives to make Maricopa County a stronger, more nurturing and vibrant community. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested $285 million in local nonprofits and programs. The Trust had total grants paid of $21.6 million in fiscal year 2011. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education and religious organizations. For more information, visit

* A grant originally awarded to a foundation or 501c3 organization that funds an agreed upon program or product.


Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 /
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
1202 East Missouri Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona  85014

Read more about the Center for Sustainable Health and Watch Videos of Dr. Michael Birt and Lee Hartwell answer the question "What does Sustainable Health mean to you?"