Philanthropists 'maintain charity donations'

Wealthy donors are in bullish mood, according to Barclays Wealth survey

Most wealthy philanthropists have not reduced their giving to charity despite the recession, according to new research.

Three-quarters of more than 500 high-net-worth donors in the UK and the US polled by Barclays Wealth in May had not cut back their charitable giving in the previous 18 months.

Only 23 per cent of those surveyed had reined in giving, while 26 per cent had given more.

"In some ways, the recession and its knock-on effects have galvanised the attitudes taken by wealthy donors, who are in a bullish mood to not only carry on giving but to make an even bigger impact in the future," said Emma Turner, head of client philanthropy at Barclays Wealth.

The rich donors studied in the report, Tomorrow's Philanthropist, also said they believed it would fall to them to deal with social problems in future as government spending is increasingly constrained.

Fifty-nine per cent said they would rather donate to charity than support causes indirectly through taxation.

Causes supported by wealthy philanthropists could also change in the coming years, the report suggests.

Donors said causes such as health, children and the environment would increase in importance in the next decade, while animals, arts and religion would see a decline.

The findings also suggest that charities will face more demands from wealthy philanthropists. Seventy-eight per cent of those polled said they did not believe charities were efficient and 82 per cent said they would have to become more efficient and transparent to maintain their appeal to donors.

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