The Pentera Blog

Planned Gift Tops List of Million-Dollar Gifts in U.S.

Million-dollar gifts in the United States were up dramatically in 2015, according to a new study—and the largest one of all was a planned gift. The Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report is a survey that has been conducted annually since 2008 and tracks any gift of $1 million or more that has been received by a charity, regardless of whether it is an outright gift or a planned gift.

The recently released 2016 version of the report found that the number of million-dollar donations in 2015 in the United States was up "an incredible 71%" over 2014, with a total of 1,823 gifts. The dollar total in the U.S. was up 59%, to $19.3 billion. Dollar totals were also up in other parts of the world covered in the survey.

"Our report highlights a remarkable increase in major philanthropy in 2015 ... a full recovery to pre-recession levels of $1m+ giving," states the report by Coutts, a private bank based in the United Kingdom.

The largest 2015 gift in the U.S. was a $605 million bequest from the estate of John L. Santikos, who operated a chain of movie theaters in Texas and gave the bulk of his fortune to the San Antonio Area Foundation. The report did not include the $45 billion from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan that established the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2015 because it is not a charity but rather a for-profit corporation that makes grants to charities, companies, and causes.

The complete Coutts 2016 Million Dollar Donors Report can be accessed here.