Dr Beth Breeze
The value of donations of £1m or more in the UK rose by £200m (15%) to £1.56bn, according to the latest Million Pound Donors Report published by wealth managers Coutts. The number of donations also rose to 298, its highest level since the report was first produced in 2008 and an increase of 2% over the previous year.
London retained its status at the centre of UK philanthropy with 192 of the 298 gifts and over two-thirds of the total value, equating to £1.05bn. On a global scale London joins Shanghai, Moscow and Johannesburg as major regional ‘hubs’ for philanthropy.
Foundations and universities remained the most popular beneficiaries of major grants, receiving £565m and £485m respectively. Foundations received 36% of donations, up from 23% in 2013, which may be indicative of the recent trend among high-net-worth donors to pledge their fortunes to charity before their death. The largest donation in the study was £105m to establish the Bet365 Foundation.
Corporate giving accounted for nearly 23% of the overall value in 2014, a significant increase over previous year (15% in 2013). These figures were the result of continued philanthropic activity by established firms such as Goldman Sachs, GlaxoSmithKline and Shell as well as a number of new entrants and their associated foundations, such as Bet365.
Dr Beth Breeze, co-author of the report and Director of the University of Kent’s Centre for Philanthropy, said: “In this eighth year of tracking data on million pound donations, it is exciting to find the highest-ever total number of seven-figure donations, and to see the total value return to levels last seen before the financial crash.
“It seems clear that donors’ confidence is recovering, and that charities are trusted to make good use of significant sums, despite the recent torrent of negative media headlines about fundraising practices.”