slides: Oregon’s 10 Biggest Charitable Donors
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
At the top of the donor list was Phil Knight, CEO of Nike. Others frontrunners were Don and Willie Tykeson, former owners of the telecommunication company BendBroadbend, and Robert Sanders, owner of Sanders Wood Products.
See Below: Oregon's 10 Biggest Charitable Donors Slideshow
Oregon was recently ranked as the 9th most charitable state in the nation by WalletHub. The analysis also found there was only a 28.78 percent difference between people who said they would donate versus people who actually gave.
There are many reasons why individuals donate money to any institution, according to Bill Harbaugh, Economic Professor at the University of Oregon. One is because they genially care about organizations, which is why education and health care institutions are usually high on donation lists. They also donate for recognition, such as getting their name on a building.
However, giving also benefits the donor mentally, according to research by Harbaugh. When people give away money, it activates the same part of the brain stimulated when a person receives an award.
“It’s a basic neural mechanism at work,” Harbaugh said. “Giving money to a good cause makes people feel good—a warm-glow feeling.”
However, for a donation to count toward a tax deduction it must be itemized, Bogdanski said, which means many people’s donations do not count towards deductions.
“The tax system tries to help and encourage donations, but the little guy doesn’t have an incentive,” Bogdanski said.
All but two of the top Oregon donors gave to colleges and universities. The University of Oregon received the most, with three-top donors giving a combined total of $28 million to the school this year.
Harbaugh thought part of the reason universities see numerous donations is because they actively pursue them.
The University of Portland showed up twice on the list as a recipient. Laurie Kelley, Vice President of University Relations at the University of Portland, said the donations had a meaningful impact on the school.
“Donations are incredibly crucial for us to do anything new,” Kelley said. “Donations and gifts make it possible to initiate new programs, give scholarships and provide new opportunities we wouldn’t have without generous benefactors.”
Related Slideshow: Oregon’s 10 Biggest Charitable Donors
What Oregon residents have given the largest charitable donations so far this year? The Chronicle of Philanthropy listed the biggest single donations by Oregon Residents of $1 million or more in 2014. Check out who gave the most and to whom.