Highlighting the Extraordinary Impact of Anonymous Donors

We wanted to compile a running, non-exhaustive Anonymous Impact List of cases in which the largest donation ever received by an institution was made by an anonymous donor. We want to showcase and celebrate the powerful impact that anonymous donors can and do have in today’s philanthropic landscape.

We hope that this impressive list further underscores the need for and importance of anonymous donors, and their place in modern philanthropy. With the undeniable global trend and movement toward personal privacy alreadyunderway,connecting with privacy-conscious donors is a savvy way for a nonprofit organization to reach and resonate with a broader spectrum of the donor demographic. For every transformative anonymous donor, there are thousands of other donors who also want to give anonymous gifts.

For the list below, we deliberately chose gifts that represented a breadth of different industries. This includes different universities, city foundations, public radio, charities, hospitals, theaters, museums, and more. The impact of anonymous donors is felt everywhere. This list was compiled after about one evening of searching, so there is no doubt many more donations that fit this category than the ones we have listed below. This list is just some food for thought – which also happens to total over $3 billion in donations.

Silent Donor also regularlypartnerswith charity and nonprofit organizations for free, allowing for anonymous gifts to be received every day. Partnering with us is an effortless and free way for your organization to appeal to donors who may prefer to give anonymously, or are more privacy-minded. It’s as easy as listing us as an “other way to give” or adding us within your online giving options. Who knows, your organization may receive a wonderful gift as a result. (if you’re a nonprofit, get in touch with us at: [email protected])

Anonymous giving is an undeniable trend: Take a look at some of the ages of the institutions below. All of the following gifts are the largest donations ever received in the history of these institutions and almost all were donated within just the past three or four years, which is remarkable. This is further proof that more donors than ever before are choosing to send philanthropic gifts anonymously! Written in no particular order:

Institution NameAmount DonatedAge of Institution for Perspective
UC Berkeley $252 million anonymous donation(largest in 155-year history)
McPherson College$1 billion anonymous donation(largest in 136-year history)
Western Michigan University$550 million anonymous donation(largest in 120-year history)
Minnesota Public Radio$56 million anonymous donation(largest in 56-year history)
San Francisco Ballet$60 million anonymous donation(largest in 91-year history)
University of Miami $126 million anonymous donation(largest in 98-year history)
Denver Museum of Nature & Science$25 million anonymous donation(largest in 123-year history)
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health $100 million anonymous donation(largest in 70-year history)
City of Kalamazoo, Michigan Foundation$400 million anonymous donation(largest in 192-year history)
Valley Children’s Hospital$15 million anonymous donation(largest in 74-year history)
Harvard Graduate School of Education $40 million anonymous donation(largest in 103-year history)
Baylor University$100 million anonymous donation(largest in 178-year history)
Monmouth University$21 million anonymous donation(largest in 89-year history)
University of Houston$50 million anonymous donation(largest in 96-year history)
Brookfield Zoo$40 million anonymous donation(largest in 89-year history)
SUNY Binghampton$60 million anonymous donation(largest in 74-year history)
The Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center$18 million anonymous donation(largest in 23-year history)
Coastal Carolina University$95 million anonymous donation(largest in 66-year history)
Palmer College of Chiropractic$4 million anonymous donation(largest in 126-year history)
YMCA of Metro Vancouver$4.25 million anonymous donation(largest in 137-year history)
Xavier University of Louisiana$20 million anonymous donation(largest in 98-year history)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock$25 million anonymous donation(largest in 96-year history)
Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts$1 million anonymous donation(largest in 15-year history)
Rijksmuseum (Museum in the Netherlands)€12.5 million anonymous donation(largest in 225-year history)
Sarah Lawrence College$20 million anonymous donation(largest in 97-year history)
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens$4 million anonymous donation(largest in 20-year history)
Korea University$48.2 million anonymous donation(largest in 118-year history)
Kenyon College$100 million anonymous donation(largest in 198-year history)
Artists Repertory Theatre$7 million anonymous donation(largest in 41-year history)
Akron Zoo$1.5 million anonymous donation(largest in 40-year history)
Hollins University$75 million anonymous donation(largest in 181-year history)
Taylor University$20 million anonymous donation(largest in 177-year history)
Uniting Voices Chicago$4 million anonymous donation(largest in 67-year history)
Philander Smith College$2.5 million anonymous donation(largest in 155-year history)
Texas A&M University-Kingsville$19.5 million anonymous donation(largest in 98-year history)
Erie, PA Community Foundation$100 million anonymous donation(largest in 88-year history)
Yarmouth Hospital$22 million anonymous donation(largest in 111-year history)
Dartmouth College$100 million anonymous donation(largest in 253-year history)
Montefiore Medicine $100 million anonymous donation(largest in 139-year history)
Binghamton University$60 million anonymous donation(largest in 77-year history)
Washburn University$10.2 million anonymous donation(largest in 158-year history)
Identity Theft Resource Center$1.4 million anonymous donation(largest in 25-year history)
Maui High School$10 million anonymous donation(largest in 111-year history)
Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota$5 million anonymous donation(largest in 41-year history)

Anonymous donors are powerful, and they actually give more (on average) than their non-anonymous counterparts. Silent Donor’s donation average, for instance, is a little over 3x the US national online giving average. For all of the donors inspired by this impressive list, click the button below to send an anonymous donation of your own!