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
Members and benefactors have generously donated art and funds to expand the
  collections.
Thus big and little stars are unlikely to serve as benefactors of life.
Some of the benefactors would be the morbidly obese.
The ploy suggests a cargo cult, setting out lures for prospective benefactors.
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