A Donor Pyramid Sample

Analyzing a Donor Pyramid helps us to understand the opportunities within an organization to create a more balanced, sustainable philanthropic revenue stream.

Here is an analysis of a sample donor pyramid from a congregation I served a few years ago. 


By creating the pyramid, we learn that 70% of donors (the base) provide 23% of dollars, very close to the ideal. The next 20% provide a whopping 32% of dollars (the ideal being 20% of the dollars); here we have a very strong midsection. The top 10% of donors are certainly underperforming the ideal significantly.

Now take the same donor data, and divide the pyramid by dollars. You get a similar story told a different way.


To get to the ideal 60% of the revenue stream in the top tier, you need a larger number of donors than the ideal – 18% instead of 10%. A small pool of mid-range donors, 16% instead of 20%, are providing the next 20% of revenue, as well as a larger pool of base donors providing the final 20%.

In this congregation, there are significant opportunities to raise additional revenue by encouraging higher level donors to strengthen their engagement and commitment. At the same time, future opportunities abound, as a solid foundation is laid for base and mid-level donors to continue and improve their own giving.