Million Dollar Ready Research

Million Dollar Ready: Assessing the institutional factors that lead to transformational gifts

Million-dollar donations have the ability to transform higher education institutions. However, less than one in three degree granting higher education institutions in the U.S. received a publicly announced million-dollar donation from 2000 to 2012.


JGA is proud to announce that we have partnered with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on new quantitative and qualitative research into the organizational- and board-level factors that influence success in obtaining million-dollar gifts.


We know there is no magic formula for receiving large gifts, other than perhaps listening to and building positive relationships with donors over time. But this report identifies, among other findings, that presidential tenure, board giving, rankings, and investments in faculty and staff are indicative of organizations that receive transformational gifts.


A special Implications section in the report provides institutions advice and takeaways to consider as they work to strengthen their ability to attract million-dollar donations.


Download the Executive Summary or the full Million Dollar Ready Report