Two anonymous donors have pledged large gifts to Amherst College, in Massachusetts. One of the anonymous donors pledged $100-million and the other pledged $25-million, the college announced this morning. Both donors are graduates of the college, but neither wanted the college to disclose their names.
Both pledges will go toward endowment and both will be paid out over five years.
The $100-million pledge is especially unusual as the number of gifts had dropped due to the economy. Just three other gifts of that size have been made so far this year by American donors to any nonprofit organization, compared with 14 by this time a year ago, according to The Chronicle’s database of big gifts.
What’s more, no American donors have given gifts of more than $100-million to a nonprofit group so far this year; last year two donations were worth more than $1-billion.
Anthony W. Marx, president of Amherst, referred in a news release to the significance of such gifts in today’s tough times.
“In a difficult economic moment, when institutions have fewer resources, these unrestricted gifts to the endowment represent extraordinary votes of support for Amherst College,” said Mr. Marx.