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What Is a Donor Gift?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A donor gift is a contribution made to an organization without expectation of collateral compensation. Typical gifts can include money, equipment, and services. A donor gift can be a one time offering or part of a series of gifts to be distributed over time.

One of the most common and sought after types of donor gift is money. There are several ways a donor can make this kind of contribution. It can be a single donation, a yearly offering, or a large amount made in several payments. Large amounts of money can come from estates of the deceased, transferred stock, and other investments.

Another type of donor gift is professional services. This can include virtually any field. Some of the common services that a company may offer to an organization include printing, legal aid, and services for special events such as catering and public relations.

A donor gift can also be an item or series of items. Some of the small things a contributor might offer include office supplies, equipment specific to the needs of the organization, and other items necessary for daily operations. Larger items can include materials for construction, playground equipment, or vehicles necessary for the operation of the organization. In some cases, a donor may provide a significant amount of the materials needed for a large project.

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Though there are many contributors who will give a donor gift to an organization of their own accord, most organizations need to have some kind of donor cultivation program. This can include ongoing and annual fundraising efforts such as auctions, galas, and telephone solicitation. An organization may also solicit items and services from businesses in the community for use in regular operations or in fundraising events such as auctions and raffles.

While an organization does not give collateral compensation for a donor gift, it will often have a way of recognizing donors. One of the most common ways of recognizing donor contributions include listing the donor’s name in a prominent place such as company literature; plaques; or items such as furniture, buildings, and tiles. An organization may also recognize donor gifts by having a special event for contributors, such as a performance, a special meal, or exclusive access to items or events relevant to the work of the recipient. Some organizations also offer small gifts such as tote bags, water bottles, and travel mugs. Often these items will be inscribed with the organization’s name.

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