Home » The Benefactor Blog » Laura MacDonald Named 2020-2022 Chair of Giving USA Foundation

Laura MacDonald Named 2020-2022 Chair of Giving USA Foundation

Chicago, IL – Laura MacDonald, CFRE, Principal and Founder of Benefactor Group, has been named Chair of Giving USA Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by The Giving Institute to advance the research, education, and public understanding of philanthropy. She was officially inducted on July 9 and will serve in her role through July 31, 2022.

Giving USA Foundation shares data and trends about charitable giving in its Giving USA Annual Report, published every year since 1956, and in shorter Special Reports that offer in-depth examinations of current topics in philanthropy.

“It is a privilege to serve as a steward of these research efforts and build on our strong relationships with scholars and academicians such as our partners at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy,” says MacDonald. “The Giving USA Annual Report has been an essential resource for fundraisers and philanthropists for six decades. In recent years, we’ve been able to expand our research to include special reports on important industry topics such as donor advised funds, giving to religion and aging services, and planned giving. I am looking forward to collaborating on more of these efforts in my role as Chair of Giving USA.”

Laura MacDonald has four decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. In 2000, she established Benefactor Group, a firm that works with healthcare, arts, culture, educational institutions, human service organizations, women’s funds and other groups that serve the common good as they pursue their vision of a better world. Benefactor Group has assisted hundreds of clients including universities, art museums, hospitals, global NGOs, and start-up community organizations. Before her role at Benefactor Group, Laura was Chief Development Officer at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts, where she also served as a senior development officer in the University’s $1.2 billion capital campaign.

Laura is constantly curious about innovations in fundraising and philanthropy and an astute storyteller. She is a frequent speaker at local, regional, and national conferences (AFP, AAM, AMDA, Fundraising Bootcamp, Ronald McDonald House, etc.) and has addressed hundreds of nonprofit boards. Her articles related to advancement and philanthropy have appeared in Advancing Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly, and other professional publications. She is consulted widely by publications such as the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Penta Barron’s, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.


About Giving USA Foundation

Advancing the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy is the mission of Giving USA Foundation, founded in 1985 by The Giving Institute. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, and shorter Special Reports, released periodically, providing in-depth explorations on today’s charitable giving topics. Published since 1956, Giving USA is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America

About Giving USA

For 65 years, Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy in America, has provided comprehensive charitable giving data that are relied on by donors, fundraisers and nonprofit leaders. The research in this annual report estimates all giving to charitable organizations across the United States. Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA Foundation and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Giving USA Foundation, established in 1985 by The Giving Institute, endeavors to advance philanthropy through research and education. Explore Giving USA products and resources at

About The Giving Institute

The Giving Institute, the parent organization of Giving USA Foundation, consists of member organizations that have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence and leadership in advancing philanthropy. Serving clients of every size and purpose, from local institutions to international organizations, The Giving Institute member organizations embrace the highest ethical standards and maintain a strict code of fair practices. For information on selecting fundraising counsel, visit

is a proud member of the Giving Institute. The Giving Institute is a member association that promotes the evolution of the professional fundraising field and philanthropy. Since 1935, the Giving Institute and its member firms have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence, and leadership in advancing philanthropy.

Email Signup

We take your privacy seriously. We do not sell or share your data. We use it to enhance your experience with our site and to analyze the performance of our marketing efforts. To learn more read our privacy policy.