Target businesses not millionaires, says Rich List author

Charities should start to target entrepreneurs before they sell their businesses rather than approaching them after they become millionaires, according to the author of The Sunday Times Rich List.

Philip Beresford said that fewer entrepreneurs were selling their businesses because of the economic climate, meaning that there were fewer new millionaires to approach. Speaking today at the launch of The Sunday Times Giving List, he said fundraisers would need to change tack.

“You will have to identify those companies run by entrepreneurs or families where there is no obvious succession within the family,” he said. “You should be trying to establish a relationship with them well before the sale that may come when we have got through these difficult times.”

The fact that a declining proportion of people feature on the rich list because of inherited wealth was good news for the sector, he said.

“Few aristocrats are noted for huge charitable giving. Many regard themselves a charity case, despite the off canaletto on the wall of the stately home.”

Alastair McCall, who compiles The Sunday Times Giving List, agreed that the presence of more self-made millionaires had fuelled a change in the list. He said that this new generation of entrepreneur-philanthropists were motivated by duty and the desire to give back, not guilt, and that they wanted to create a living legacy.

He said that the proportion of residual wealth that people had to give to make it onto the giving list had steadily increased from 0.56 per cent in 2003 to 0.89 per cent in 2006. It then leapt from 1.36 per cent last year to 3 per cent this year.

“The philanthropy boom will not turn to bust as quickly as the economy,” he said.

 

The giving list top 10

1 Christopher Hohn

2 Margie and Jamie Moffat

3 Sir Tom Hunter

4 Anthony D'Offay

5 Gordon Roddick

6 David and Heather Stevens

7 Lord Sainsbury

8 Clive Cowdery

9 Klaus Jacobs

10 Arpad Busson

 

Read the full list.

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