From 'Vocabulary' part of The ABC Of Plain Words by Sir E Gowers (1951)

This word is not commonly current in this country; it offends many people; it is unnecessary (for give will always do as well), and it should be avoided. Sir Alan Herbert says of it:

The plain truth about the verb donate is that it is a snob-word ; for Lady Lavender donates her £5 to the Fund, but Mrs. Pewter's half-a-crown is only given.
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