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The Million Dollar List: Tracking Major Donors

9 June 2011 at 12:36 pm
Staff Reporter
Top philanthropists in the US and their high-net-worth donations can now be tracked on a new website called The Million Dollar List.

Staff Reporter | 9 June 2011 at 12:36 pm


The Million Dollar List: Tracking Major Donors
9 June 2011 at 12:36 pm

Top philanthropists in the US and their high-net-worth donations can now be tracked on a new website called The Million Dollar List.

The Million Dollar List ( is described as a unique set of data related to the giving of $US1 million or more. The list offers donors, Not for Profit practitioners, wealth advisors, researchers and the public, an insight into trends in high net worth giving in the United States.

The current list is a record of publicly announced charitable gifts of $1 million or more from 2000 to 2010 given by U.S. residents to domestic or international entities across a range of charities.

The project was conceived by distinguished philanthropic consultant, Arthur C. Frantzreb*, who kept a record of gifts of $1 million and higher for 33 years. In 1999, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University agreed to compile and distribute the Million Dollar List to carry on Frantzreb’s work as a service to fundraisers, a record for historians and an inspiration for potential donors.

The Center converted the subscription-only list to a free online resource in May 2011.

The Centre says the goal is to create an accurate picture of large gifts and how they fit into the study of giving in general. Data for the list comes from donors and organisations that self-report, and from media reports and other publicly available sources researched by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The searchable database contains information on donor characteristics, exact amounts given, donor and recipient locations, specific sub-sectors to which the gift was given, and additional descriptive information where possible.

It offers direct access to the data, interactive charts and maps, and graphic representations of key aspects of the data.

The Centre says little is known about gifts at the million dollar level and by making the Million Dollar List available online without a subscription, it hopes to expand the nation’s understanding of million dollar giving specifically and of philanthropy generally.


*Footnote: A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Arthur C.Frantzreb attended Purdue University and earned his degree in business administration from Butler University. His fundraising career began in 1948 at Marts and Lundy, a New York City consulting firm for Not for Profit organizations.

The author of Not on This Board You Don't, he has devoted much of his life to writing, speaking and counseling on philanthropic issues. Frantzreb has received numerous awards and honors. In 1998, the Institute for Charitable Giving in Chicago honored him as "The Outstanding Spokesperson for Philanthropy" of the half-century. In 1993, he received the Henry A. Rosso Award, the highest honor presented by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, in recognition of lifetime achievement in ethical fundraising. Frantzreb has been an advisor to the Center since it was founded in 1987.  

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