Donations of £1m or more totalled a record £1.83bn last year, report shows

The Coutts Million Pound Donors Report, which is in its tenth year, also shows a large rise in the value of corporate donations over the past decade

The total value of UK charitable donations of £1m or more reached a new high last year, new figures show.

The tenth annual Coutts Million Pound Donors Report, published today, shows that charitable donations of £1m or more totalled £1.83bn in 2016, up from the previous record high of £1.76bn the year before.

The research, which was led by Beth Breeze and Kayleigh Flaxman at the University of Kent, shows a slight fall in the number of donations of £1m or more from a record 326 in 2015 to 310 last year.

But an increase in the average donation value to a mean of £5.9m, up from £5.4m in the previous year, meant the overall amount donated rose. The most commonly donated figure remained £1m.

The report says donations of £10m or more accounted for 13 per cent of the number of donations but 62.5 per cent of the total value, at £9.3bn.  

Data from the past 10 years of Coutts reports shows that the number of donations of £1m or more has increased significantly from 189 in the first edition of the report, when such donations totalled £1.37bn.

The 10-year figures show that such donations totalled almost £15bn over the past decade, consisting of 2,416 gifts to 913 different charitable organisations.

The figures also show a significant rise in the value of corporate donations over the same period, up from £50m in 2006/7 to more than £500m last year.

The total number of charitable donations of £1m or more from corporations has increased from 17 to 65 over the past 10 years.

Data was collected from publicly available documents including charity annual reports and media coverage, with some data coming from donors and charities that received the donations, with the consent of their donors.

Lenka Setkova, executive director of the Coutts Institute, which provides advice to philanthropists, said universities received the highest number of donations of £1m or more over the past decade, and foundations received the highest value of gifts.

"This reflects a trend we see at Coutts, with an increasing number of clients using our philanthropy services to establish charitable trusts so that together with their families they can make a difference to the causes they care about," she said.

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