Vanguard Charitable, a sponsor of donor advised funds, has topped the $10 billion mark in grants made since its inception in 1997, Vanguard announced Thursday.

Nearly one million grants to more than 100,000 organizations have been made in the past 23 years, Vanguard said. In 2019, $1.2 billion was distributed through more than 140,000 grants to nearly 40,000 separate charities to add to the total.

The types of charities that were most popular last year were human services (with 25% of all donations), religiously-affiliated charities (21%), education (19%), health (13%), and arts and culture (8%). Three-quarters of the grants provided by Vanguard Charitable were unrestricted, allowing each charity to deploy funds to areas of most critical need, Vanguard said.

“This $10 billion milestone is a credit to our generous donors who support the causes they care about year after year,” said Jane Greenfield, president of Vanguard Charitable.

“Donor-advised funds are cost effective giving tools that allow donors to give to a non-profit today, and sustain their support over time. And because donors can gift a variety of different assets through their donor advised funds–including cash, appreciated securities, and more complex assets–their support enables  even greater impact for their designated philanthropic organization and its mission,” said Vik Dewan, CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo and a Vanguard Charitable trustee. 

Roughly two-thirds of contributions to Vanguard Charitable in 2019 came from appreciated assets, such as publicly traded securities and complex assets such as insurance policies, private stocks, business interests, real estate and art.