Privileged benefaction in elite schools and the moral dilemmas, contradictions and power politics involved are the focus of this paper. The notion of ?the gift? provides our analytical lens. We concentrate on two girls? schools ? one in South Africa and one in England. These were both built, in various ways, on the British model of public schooling. These schools pride themselves on their gifting practices. We offer a broad overview of the different local and global manifestations of and justifications for these practices as they occur in these schools and in the transnational organisations of which the schools are members.