Gives a fellow a change of seat (7)
I believe the answer is:
'gives' is the definition.
(donating is a kind of giving)
'a fellow a change of seat' is the wordplay.
'a fellow' becomes 'don' (both can mean an academic).
'a change of' indicates an anagram.
'seat' is an anagram of 'ates'.
(Other definitions for donates that I've seen before include "Offers free", "gifts", "Gives to good cause".)