Charities chasing big-money donations might do well to think locally.
Of gifts to nonprofits of at least $1 million, 47% of the donations and 52% of the dollar value came from donors in the same state from 2000 to 2011, according to a study sponsored by CCS, a global fundraising, consulting and management firm. Sixty percent of such gifts came from donors in the same geographic region.
American individuals and foundations were the primary donors of million-dollar-plus gifts to charity, according to the study, which was conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
“The opportunity to strengthen one’s community can be highly attractive to potential donors,” Robert Kissane, president of CCS, said in a statement. “Nonprofit organizations that effectively communicate potential impact and seek out the right local donors may experience transformational gifts.”
Individuals gave about a third of publicly announced gifts of $1 million or more. Add in bequests, and individuals contributed 40% of all such gifts and 65% of the total dollar amount.
Foundations made 43% of million-dollar-plus gifts, which accounted for 25% of the total dollar value.
The study found that a small but growing number of million-dollar gifts were coming from donors outside the U.S.