Yet another unassuming donor gives multi-million dollar gift

Today The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported about Lotta Fields. According to the New York Times, Ms. Fields was an avid reader and a regular donor to the New York Public Library. Her regular gifts were only described as "modest." But when she died, she left the library $6 million. $6 million! The NYT's quotes the

Is there a Ron Newell in your donor pool?

Did you hear the latest story about an unassuming millionaire? According to Foster's Daily Democrat, Ron Newell was a quiet truck driver in Dover, NH. He liked kids and animals, especially dogs. Last August, Mr. Newell passed away at the age of 78. Last week, two nonprofits were told that he'd left them $550,000 each.

Two $4 million surprise gifts

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported of a couple of $4 million gifts give to surprised nonprofits. According to the story, a Pasadena couple, Robert and Adrienne Westerbeck, gave $4 million to each of their alma maters. As is typical in stories like this (and Richard Walters [$4 mill] and Jean Preston [$8 mill] and Helene

Homeless man leaves $4 million estate

Do you remember Jean Preston, the unassuming librarian who'd amassed an $8 million estate? Or Helene Whitlock Alley, the $100 donor that bequethed $7.3 million to a diabetes group. Well here's another entry in the never underestimate anyone category: Richard Walters. Perhaps you've heard his name on NPR: "Support for NPR comes from the estate

Ask Without Fear! radio show

Well, my intended guest Stephen Nill, founder and CEO of was embroiled in nasty network outages that kept him from being on the show. I guess this was bound to happen with a live radio show! 🙂 So I took the unexpected time to wax eloquent on thoughts about "doing the right thing" with

Another frugal $10 million donor

Here's another story in the growing collection of unassuming people that become noteworthy philanthropists by leaving millions of dollars to charity. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that James Ebbert, the son of a sharecropper, left $10 million to charities in Pennsylvania. When reporting on this high-school-turned-business-owner: He lived frugally and invested his money well, says

Fundraising Secret #12: Don't be fooled by flashy cars

Check out this Reuters story : Frugal librarian amassed $8 million art trove. With a The Millionaire Next Door feel, librarian Jean Preston ate frozen meals and took the bus. But she'd collected art work worth more around $8 million. The lesson I get from this? Any fundraiser that had visited her would've noticed the