In Hard Times, Big Donors Don't Flaunt It

Some seek subtlety as neighbors struggle
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 4, 2009 11:29 AM CDT
"In today's economic environment, people like to be behind the scenes," says the development director of an Arizona school.   (©harry525)
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(Newser) – In hard times, big givers are staying out of the spotlight, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. Some 19% of donations of $1 million or more in the past 10 months have been anonymous, compared with 3%-5% over the past 10 years. Donors often stay nameless to keep other charities from calling and to hide their giving from friends; both issues “get exacerbated” in a tough economy, says an analyst.

Others may not want to look showy when those around them are suffering, says a fundraising consultant. He cited a donor for whom part of an arts center was to be named; she's still contributing but wants her name removed. “In today’s economic environment, people like to be behind the scenes, as opposed to having their name plastered everywhere and having every nonprofit on the planet contacting them for donations,” says a fundraiser.