How big is the average major gift?

“What’s your average?”
I found myself asking that question in meetings with clients all the time. What surprised me was that most didn’t know the answer.
Most businesses know their numbers. Nonprofits usually know their overall average donation size. They might also know their retention rate too.
But when it comes to major gifts things get tricky because before the average amount can be determined, the organization has to first determine what qualifies as a major gift.
I decided to find the answer.
This was just one of the questions that led me to fund the first-ever study of its kind: The 2017 Major Gift Benchmark Study. You can download the infographic and report here for free.
To make it easier on fundraisers, we provided ranges from which they could select their average. What we found was this: The most-repeated answer:  $1,000 – $2,499 (that’s a pretty low dollar amount for an average major gift in my opinion).
The data gets broken down by sector too. But you’ll have to download the report to see how that breaks out.
Check it out and let me know what you think. And, please consider sharing the link with your colleagues so they can benefit from the information too.

How much is the average major gift donation

Feel free to share this graphic


Related Posts:

>>Introducing the First Ever Major Gifts Fundraising Benchmark Study
>>Webinar: How To Think About Major Gifts, So You’ll Get More of Them

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Cowart
6 years ago

As always, this is great information but not surprising regarding the lack of being intentional regarding major gifts.
In our values-based charitable estate planning process, we consistently see a group of donors who are overlooked for major and planned gifts. They are annual giving donors who have given small gifts for +5,10,15 years, etc. Nonprofits constantly focus on “capacity” and ignore “inclination/affinity.”

6 years ago

Indeed, passion comes first Mike.


[…] MarketSmart did research on this very topic, asking How Big Is the Average Major Gift?  They found that most nonprofits define a major gift as one between $1,000 and $2,500. For some nonprofits in the study, the average major gift was less than $1,000. And for a very few, fortunate ones, the average major gift exceeded $1 million. […]

Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!