Philanthropists have given more than $130 million to charities since May through the platform Vanguard Charitable and the National Philanthropic Trust launched with PayPal, which was designed to make granting easier and quicker, Vanguard Charitable announced last week.

The platform, Grant Payments with PayPal, was created to circumvent the need to write physical checks, a method hampered by mail delays and administrative burdens for receiving charities, Vanguard Charitable said. Grant Payments with PayPal allows eligible nonprofits to accept and receive electronic funds for grants up to $10 million at no cost to the charity or grantmaker.

“For a long time, grantmakers have acknowledged the shortcomings of sending funds via paper check, but there was no easy, secure, and charity-friendly solution to address the grantmaking space as a whole,” Rebecca Moffett, president of Vanguard Charitable, said in a statement. “Vanguard Charitable, the National Philanthropic Trust, and PayPal saw an opportunity to bring together leaders in their respective fields so that charities across the country could receive funds in a simple, secure, and much faster way – ultimately helping to drive their respective missions forward.” 

The electronically transferred payments went to more than 400 charities. More than 30,000 additional charities are currently eligible to receive funds through the program. Since May, Vanguard Charitable’s total percentage of grants distributed by methods other than a physical check increased more than elevenfold when compared to the same period the year before, Vanguard said.

Funds sent by the new program arrive within one day of the receiving charity accepting the grant, and, in one case, in as little as one minute and forty-three seconds, Vanguard Chritable said. There are no fees for any grants sent through this program.

The benefits of Grant Payments were particularly visible in the aftermath of the recent Maui wildfires, Vanguard Charitable said. Of the $3.7 million that Vanguard Charitable donors issued in grants in the three weeks following the fires, 57% was sent electronically and arrived within a day of the grant’s approval. For local organizations whose offices were destroyed or who weren’t receiving mail, this proved a major boost in serving a community in need, the firm added.

“PayPal Grant Payments drives efficiency for grantmakers and charities by offering (grantors a way) to digitally send and receive grants quickly, efficiently, and securely,” Michael Budwig, senior director of product for giving at PayPal, said in a statement.