Recession 'won't stop philanthropists'

Coutts poll shows many wealthy givers plan to donate more than in previous years

The vast majority of philanthropists plan to maintain or increase their giving during the recession, according to a poll by Coutts, the private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The survey of 100 philanthropists at a forum held by the bank in April found that 42 per cent planned to increase their charitable giving, and 45 per cent said they would maintain the same level of donations.

The poll also asked respondents why they gave to charity. Forty-two per cent said they donated because they wanted to ‘give back' and 37 per cent said they were motivated by personal experiences or had personal links to favourite charities or causes. Only 16 per cent said they gave because of tax breaks.

Maya Prabhu, senior philanthropy advisor at Coutts, said: "While unstructured and spontaneous giving might to some extent fall victim to the economic downturn, results show that we will see some wealthy individuals giving more to help charities."

She said this year's Sunday Times Rich List, which showed that the 100 most generous philanthropists gave a total of £216m more to charity than the previous year, supported these findings.

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