The Comeback of Big Gifts and Their Meaning in 2014

The Chronicle’s latest report on giving marks the reemergence of big gifts.

Fifteen Americans donated gifts at $100-million or  more level, compared to last year’s eleven. According to  The Chronicle’s data, all gifts of $1-million or more totaled nearly $9.6-billion in 2013, compared with $6.1-billion in 2012.

The study also finds that America’s wealthiest philanthropists donated a total of more than $3.4-billion to charity marking a strong start for 2014.

The comeback of the big gifts is especially notable in the healthcare sector with 7 of the top fifteen gifts having some connection to healthcare.      





Phil and Penelope Knight

Oregon Health and Sciences University


Cancer Research


Michael Bloomberg

Johns Hopkins University


Endowed Professorships in Research

Muriel Block

Albert EinsteinCollege of Medicine


Biomedical Research

Broad Foundation

Harvard/MIT Broad Institute


Biomedical Research

T. Denny

Stanford UC ‐ San Diego


Stem Cell Research

Weill Family Foundation

Weill Cornell


Biomedical Research

Robert and Patricia Kern

Mayo Clinic


Health Care Delivery Research

7 of the top 15 gifts made during 2013 were either completely or partially focused on health care research. The total given, $1.37bn, accounted for over 31% of the total of those top 15 gifts.

















And although America’s wealthiest did not give quite as much in 2013 as they did prior to the recession, there is positive news for the sector:

  • The continuous growth of big gifts signifies that the economy continues to come out of the recession.

  • Healthcare remains a priority for Americans. Among the top fifteen gifts 7 had a partial focus on healthcare.

  • Gifts are influenced by the donors’ personal and family experiences. Both Philip Knight, the co-founder of Nike, his wife, Penelope and Muriel Block, the real-estate heiress, donated to institutions working to find solutions to health challenges their families and they personally have been effected by.

  • In most, if not all, of these institutions the donors have been long-time supporters. They repeatedly donated to and had the opportunity to interact with facets of the institution beyond fundraising including physicians, clinicians and the executive leadership.

About the Campbell & Company Healthcare Practice 

The Campbell & Company Healthcare Team are experts in healthcare philanthropy and staff management. We understand the context in which healthcare organizations operate, and create a structure and process within that context, tailored to your community, that allows philanthropy to grow. For 37 years, we have helped hundreds of healthcare institutions succeed in growing and sustaining their programs.

Campbell & Company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC. For more information, please telephone (877) 957-0000 toll free, email or visit  

Nonprofit News, Healthcare Trends

Adam Wilhelm

Adam Wilhelm is Vice President at Campbell & Company. A hands-on collaborator, Adam Wilhelm engages organizational leadership and volunteers and translates their visions into implementable activities for fundraising teams.