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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A donor in general is a person, organization or government which donates something voluntarily. The term is usually used to represent a form of pure altruism, but is sometimes used when the payment for a service is recognized by all parties as representing less than the value of the donation and that the motivation is altruistic. In business law a donor is someone who is giving the gift (law), and a donee the person receiving the gift.

More broadly, the term is used to refer to any entity that serves as the source of something transferred to a different entity, including - in scientific fields - the source of matter or energy passed from one object to another.

The Online Etymology Dictionary traces the English-language word "donor" back to the mid-15th century, with origins in Anglo-French, Old French, Latin and Proto-Indo-European.[1]

In science[edit]

Often the word is used as a shorter term for:

In society and international relations[edit]

In art[edit]

  • Donor portrait — portrait of the person who paid for a painting, typically in a church

In literature[edit]

In fairy tales, a donor is a stock character that tests the hero (and sometimes other characters as well) and provides magical assistance to the hero when he succeeds.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harper, Douglas. "donor". Online Etymology Dictionary.