benefactor

[ben-uh-fak-ter, ben-uh-fak-]
noun
1.
a person who confers a benefit; kindly helper.
2.
a person who makes a bequest or endowment, as to an institution.

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English benefactour < Late Latin; see bene-, factor


2. patron, supporter, sponsor, backer, protector.
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World English Dictionary
benefactor (ˈbɛnɪˌfæktə, ˌbɛnɪˈfæk-)
 
n
a person who supports or helps a person, institution, etc, esp by giving money; patron
 
'benefactress
 
fem n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

benefactor
mid-15c., from L.L. benefactor, from L. phrase bene facere, from bene "well" (see bene-) + facere "to do" (see factitious). Translated in O.E. as wel-doend.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Moore is the university's largest benefactor, and its business school is named
  for her.
The institution had no expectation of my potential as a benefactor so I had to
  earn my doctorate through hard work.
She was a generous but quiet benefactor to many charities, .
Michael was such a gracious and caring benefactor.
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