The total value of donations to charity of £1m or more fell by 13 per cent in 2007/08 compared with the previous year, research has shown.
The Coutts Million Pound Donors Report, produced by private bank Coutts & Co and the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, says the value of donations of £1m or more fell from £1.62bn in 2006/07 to £1.41bn in 2007/08.
The average donation fell from £2m to £1.9m over the same period.
The report, in its second year, examined 189 donations of £1m or more made by 102 different donors.
It also revealed that more money had been given directly to charity rather than put in charitable foundations. The amount given directly to charities was up from £705m in 2006/07 to £808m in 2007/08.
Just over half of all the donations came from individuals and 38 per cent came from foundations.
The most popular causes supported were higher education, arts and culture and international aid and development.
Beth Breeze, researcher at the Centre for Philanthropy and author of the report, said: "It is heartening to see that major philanthropists have reacted to the economic crisis by ensuring that more funds are being spent on front-line charitable activity rather than being put away in charitable foundations to be spent at some point in the future."