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Million dollar donors choose education and health charities, says new report

Million dollar donors choose education and health charities, says new report


Million dollar donors in the US favour higher education institutions, health charities and arts organisations, according to an analysis of the Million Dollar List recorded at the Centre on Philanthropy at the University of Indiana.

The analysis revealed that 4,844 gifts of $1m (£680,000) or more were publicly announced between 2000 and the third quarter of 2007. 60% of the gifts on the Million Dollar List are between $1m and $4.99m (£3.4m). There were 200 gifts of $50m (£34m) or more.

The report found that 29% of gifts were made for capital purposes (to acquire a building or land), and 25% were made for a specific programme.  Only 5% were unrestricted gifts.

Higher education received 68% of gifts, and 29% of the total amount given. Although foundations received only 2% of gifts, this accounted for 45% of the total value of all gifts over $1m (£680,000).

Individual women were more likely to give unrestricted gifts, for operating costs or debt reduction, or for scholarships. This resonates with findings from the Philanthropy UK Women & Philanthropy report.

The report concluded, “Making a case for a specific purpose, not for general support, and working with people who have long-term connections with your organisation are two important dimensions to receiving million-dollar and above gifts.”

The recent Coutts Million Pound Donor report examined trends in million pound donations in the UK.