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Coutts report shows major philanthropists donate £15bn over decade

22/11/2017 News Team

 A total of almost £15 billion in large £1 million+ gifts has been donated by UK individuals, foundations and corporations over the past decade. This is broken down into 2,416 gifts and was distributed among 913 different charitable organisations.

These are the findings of the ten year anniversary of the Coutts Million Pound Donors report, produced in association with the University of Kent, which tracks the number, size, source, and destination of £1 million+ donations.  

Analysing key trends in major philanthropy over the past ten years, the report shows that there has been a boom in philanthropy since the financial crisis, with a record high of £1.83 billion donated in 2016, and the number of donations of over £1 million is 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 £50 million in 2006/7 to over £500 million in 2016 – an increase of over 900 percent. The total number of donations of £1 million or more from corporations has also risen by 282 percent (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.

Also, the number of donations to UK-based charities, from donors located outside the UK has increased ten-fold since the report began - from three to 30. The total value of these donations has increased by over 2,500 percent - from £9.8 million in 2006/7 to £263.5 million in 2016.

Lenka Setkova, executive director, Coutts Institute said: “While mega-gifts (donations of £100 million or more) tend to attract the headlines, £1 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 £1 million or more (600), while foundations received the highest total value at £5 billionn. 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.”

The research also shows that in 2016, while the number of donations dipped to 310 (from 326 in the previous year), the overall value increased by £70 million due to the higher average donation value and the higher than usual number of donations over £25 million. While a majority of donations came from London-based funders, Scotland, East Midlands, West Midlands and North East saw the highest total value since the report began.

After a drop in donations in 2015, health as a sub sector bounced back significantly in 2016 to receive almost double the amount when compared to the previous year, with 27 donations with a combined value of £94 billion. Also of note were the ten donations to the ‘Garden Bridge’ project in central London which was "controversially withdrawn".

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