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Coutts Million Pound Donors Report shows GBP15bn donated to charitable causes in last decade


A total of almost GBP15 billion in large GBP1 million-plus gifts has been donated by individuals, foundations and corporations over the past decade, according to the latest edition of the Coutts Million Pound Donors’ Report.

This is broken down into 2,416 gifts distributed among 913 different charitable organisations.
Analysing key trends in major philanthropy over the past ten years, the report, which is now in its tenth year and is produced in association with the University of Kent, shows that there has been a boom in philanthropy since the financial crisis in 2008, with a record high of GBP1.86 billion donated in 2016, and the number of donations of GBP1 million-plus is going up by two-thirds over the decade. There has also been a surge in corporate giving, with the total value of corporate donations rising from just under GBP50 million in 2006/7 to over GBP500 million in 2016 – an increase of over 900 per cent. The total number of donations of GBP1m or more from corporations has also risen by 282 per cent (from 17 in 2006/7 to 65 in 2016).
London retains its position as the hub of major philanthropy in the UK. However, the biggest and most consistent rise in the total value of donations has been in the North East, although donations came from almost every region of the UK. The report also shows that the number of donations to UK-based charities from donors located outside the UK has increased since the report began – from 3 to 30. The total value of these donations has increased by over 2,500 per cent – from GBP9.8 million in 2006/7 to GBP263.5 million in 2016.
Dr Beth Breeze from the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, and co-author of the UK report, says: “Philanthropy affects the lives of everyone because most people give some money or time at least once a year, and because we all benefit from the gifts of past and present donors. We began this research project at a time when knowledge of million pound donations was mostly anecdotal. Ten years on we are proud to have created a strong base of knowledge and insight into major donation motivation, which I hope will inspire others to begin or accelerate their philanthropic journey.”
Lenka Setkova (pictured), Executive Director, Coutts Institute, says: “While mega-gifts (donations of GBP100 million or more) tend to attract the headlines, GBP1 million is the most common donation. Giving exactly one million appears to be economically and psychologically a significant figure, which resonates with both donors and charities. Our report also shows that universities received the highest number of donations of GBP1 million or more (600), while foundations received the highest total value at GBP5bn. This reflects a trend we see at Coutts with an increasing number of clients using our philanthropy services to establish charitable trusts so that together with their family, they can make a difference to the causes they care about.”

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