2021 Annual Report

News and Reports


Dear Friends,

The Trust’s grantee partners continue to inspire us with inventive solutions to our communities’ greatest challenges. Throughout the pandemic, our grantees met unprecedented needs with determination and ingenuity. Organizations refined operational models, increased services and expanded use of technology to continue to help people and keep critical environmental and animal welfare work on track.

In 2021, the Trust invested $16.3 million in Indiana and Arizona, collaborating with partners to inform our grantmaking so we could help meet urgent needs, while investing in lasting improvements for our communities.

Highlights of 2021 include:

  • The Trust devoted $7.5 million to helping vulnerable populations: those experiencing abuse, homelessness and financial insecurity, the elderly, children in the foster system and historically marginalized communities. Our support helped individuals and families meet basic needs and safely access services and supports to provide greater security and independence.
  • We awarded over $6 million in capital campaign grants addressing issues that Nina Mason Pulliam held dear, including species preservation, vision impairment, expanding services for homeless women and children, giving greater voice to Native Americans and advancing animal welfare practices.
  • Twenty-nine Nina Scholars persevered to finish their college education despite exceptional obstacles. Nina Scholars graduate at rates equal to or greater than their peers, and 85% of scholars who graduated in the past five years work in a field related to their course of study.
  • Innovative crop conversion and irrigation projects achieved an estimated water savings of more than 2.1 billion gallons in the Verde River. These results were made possible through The Nature Conservancy – Arizona’s leadership, in partnership with the Yavapai-Apache Nation, landowners, farmers, businesses and municipalities, and Trust support.
  • Indiana farmers planted more cover crops than ever during the past year, keeping more than 1.6 million tons of sediment — enough to fill 450 Olympic-size pools — from entering Indiana waterways. This effort, led by The Nature Conservancy – Indiana, supports the Trust’s water quality goals in its Indiana environmental roadmap, being implemented in collaboration with the Partners for the White River.
  • The Trust provided increased funding so animal welfare grantees in Arizona and Indiana could safely provide critical spay/neuter surgeries, wellness and adoption services. Central Indiana’s leading animal welfare organizations performed over 20,600 spay/neuter surgeries for dogs and cats in 2021. Arizona’s Alliance for Companion Animals conducted more than 32,000 spay/neuter surgeries.
  • The Trust surpassed $500 million in total assets, increasing our ability to help effect enduring change.

Reflecting on 2021, it is an honor to partner with organizations that employ innovation and determination to better serve our communities. We look forward to continuing this work with you.

Read on for more solutions and achievements we celebrated in 2021.

Carol Peden Schilling
Trustee Chair

Kent E. Agness

Lisa Shover Kackley

Gene D'Adamo Nina Pulliam Trust

Gene D’Adamo
President and CEO


2021 Investment: $7.5 million

In 2021, the Trust invested $7.5 million in organizations in Indiana and Arizona that help the most vulnerable members of our communities gain greater security and self-sufficiency. As the impacts from the pandemic lingered, many of those nonprofits implemented innovative practices to safely deliver services to their clients. Some solutions that emerged out of necessity allowed organizations to engage more community members and continue to provide benefits as the pandemic began to recede. For instance, online outreach and training through Arizona Children’s Association in Phoenix and The Villages in Indiana allows more foster families to become certified to take in children caught in the child welfare system. The AZEvictionHelp.org website, developed with support from the Trust and 14 other Arizona funders, offers a single source for resources to assist tenants facing eviction. The website highlights agencies and programs that help tenants navigate the legal system and find financial and additional support services.

The cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ academic achievement is being felt across the nation, especially in schools with racial and socioeconomic inequities. To combat learning loss, nonprofits increased student offerings in both Arizona and Indiana. The Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center’s Greater Academic Performance Academy provided extra teacher instruction resulting in students increasing standardized test scores an average of 25%, with many jumping at least one letter grade in English, math and science.

Photo: Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona

To make up for curtailing its in-person afterschool programming during the regular school year, the Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis hired teachers to increase summer tutoring. Girl Scouts of Central Indiana expanded its virtual programming to provide social outlets for girls to engage in community service and gain skills in science, technology, engineering, leadership and entrepreneurship. And Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired deployed one-on-one tutoring, small-group instruction and technical equipment for students in Maricopa County to re-learn and build upon academic subjects, braille literacy and daily living skills.

Nina Scholars

Nina Scholars are a study in fortitude and perseverance. They are adults with dependents, have physical disabilities or were part of the child welfare system. Notwithstanding the challenges they face, Nina Scholars outpace their peers on several fronts. Impressive at any time but especially notable during a pandemic, Nina Scholars had a 100% first-year retention rate in 2021. Scholar graduation rates match or exceed their typical peers at the four institutions where the program operates – Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona, and IUPUI and Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.

Led by a team of dedicated professionals, the program’s intensive supports (including enhanced tutoring, onsite mentors and emergency financial assistance), along with the students’ determination, continue to propel scholars to success.


2021 Investment: $2.4 million

Five years ago, the Trust sharpened its focus on the environment to protect and restore crucial waterways in Indiana and Arizona. Building on its initial success, in 2020, the Trust entered the second phase of its environmental roadmap, dedicating nearly $20 million over five years to projects in both states, collaboratively developed with our conservation partners. In 2021, these second-phase projects netted strong results.

Photo: The Nature Conservancy

In Arizona, the Trust supported The Nature Conservancy – Arizona and Friends of the Verde River in projects focused on restoring and maintaining the Verde River’s flow through crop conversion and efficient irrigation practices. Accomplished in cooperation with the Yavapai-Apache Nation, landowners, farmers and businesses, these projects created an estimated one-year water savings of more than 2.1 billion gallons in the Verde River and protected more than 140 miles of river and habitat. Timing for this work could not be more critical – the megadrought the Southwest is enduring is the driest period in over 1,200 years, and in 2021, the federal government declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time.

With Trust investment, the Partners for the White River in Indiana gained momentum on a collection of projects addressing water quality and management, improving access to the White River and increasing the public’s appreciation of the watershed’s importance. The White River Alliance’s fourth-annual Indiana Water Summit drew more than 230 policymakers and water practitioners to work on Indiana’s Water Road Map, which builds the framework for state- and regional-level water planning. Indiana farmers planted more cover crops than ever in 2021, keeping more than 1.6 million tons of sediment from entering Indiana waterways. In the Upper White River, farmers were offered an incentive by a Trust-supported crop insurance program that pays for every acre planted in cover crops. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy and the United States Department of Agriculture introduced the program with support from the Indiana Conservation Partnership and Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance.

Learn more about the Trust’s environmental initiatives here.


2021 Investment: $5.9 million

Continuing into 2021, the pandemic forced frequent closures of animal welfare agencies and shelters and restricted regular services for companion animals and their owners. Leading animal welfare organizations in Marion County, Indiana, and Maricopa County, Arizona, with increased support from the Trust, expanded partnerships and adjusted operations throughout the year to provide crucial free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and wellness services, conduct pet adoptions, address community cats and support struggling pet owners.

IndyHumane hired a new surgical team at its Downtown Clinic, a staffing increase that aided the organization in performing over 10,000 spay/neuter surgeries in 2021, a record for the agency.

Photo: FIDO

The Priority 4 Paws program at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine provided teams of veterinary students to assist in surgical and medical care for shelter animals and community cats, in partnership with FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic and IndyHumane. When shelters were closed, the university teams transported animals to the veterinary college for surgery and medical care, allowing crucial work to continue.

The Alliance for Companion Animals conducted over 32,000 spay/neuter surgeries in Maricopa County in 2021, a 5% increase over the prior year. Mobile and pop-up clinics led by Altered Tails, Fix.Adopt.Save. and Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine brought spay/neuter surgeries and wellness services to neighborhoods in the Valley where pet owners struggled to access care due to shelter and clinic closures. With pandemic closures disrupting Midwestern’s traditional training curriculum, the pop-up clinics provided invaluable experience for shelter medicine veterinary students.

Caring for animals was a lifelong passion for Nina Mason Pulliam and the Trust honors her dedication through our animal welfare initiatives. Since the Trust began collaborative animal welfare grantmaking in 2012, more than 40,000 animal lives have been saved each year.


in grants distributed in 2021 to 22 agencies serving animal welfare


invested in animal welfare in Arizona and Indiana between 2012-2021

Learn more about the Trust’s animal welfare initiatives here.


2021 Investment: $6.25 million

In its grantmaking, the Trust closely aligns with the causes and organizations about which Nina Mason Pulliam was passionate. In 2021, the Trust supported several of her dearest interests with capital gifts to:

  • Arizona Humane Society Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus – $3 million
  • Eiteljorg Museum Native American Galleries – $500,000
  • Indianapolis Zoo Global Center for Species Survival – $1.5 million
  • Visually Impaired Pre-School Services Indiana Family Resource Center – $250,000
  • Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children – $1 million

Learn about these projects here.


As of Dec. 31, 2021, the Trust’s endowment was an estimated $507,684,000. Since inception, the Trust awarded $353,408,961 million in grants and scholarships to 1,010 nonprofit organizations in Arizona and Indiana. In 2021, we awarded 178 grants totaling $16,359,853.

See an overview of our 2021 grantmaking.

The Trust’s audited financial statements will be available on our website after July 15, 2022.