Recipients of largest charitable donations named

Health charities, international aid organisations and higher education institutions were the main beneficiaries of the largest charitable gifts in 2006/07, according to a new report.

The Coutts Million-Pound Donors Report, which considered only donations of £1m and over, revealed that 45 donations totalling almost £300m were given to higher education institutions. Health organisations received 22 donations adding up to £97m and international aid and development charities received more than £81m from 15 donations.

It showed that 193 large donations totalling £1.6bn were made in the UK in 2006/07. Of those, 64 per cent were less than £3m and 12 per cent were more than £10m. The five largest donations - £100m or more - were placed in trusts to be distributed over time.

The report, written by Beth Breeze, co-founder of the Centre for Philanthropy, Humanitarianism and Social Justice at the University of Kent, was released to mark the centre's launch.

Breeze said the research was important because there was very little reliable information about giving by society's richest members.

"We know most people support charities, that ordinary donors give less than £30 a month and that the most popular causes are cancer research, children's charities and animal welfare," she said.

"Now we know that ‘million pound donors' differ not just in the scale of their gifts, but in what they choose to support and how they go about making their gifts."

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