Donations by millionaires have gone up since 2020, says research

Charity donations by the wealthiest philanthropists have increased in the last two years, according to research.

The median average amount given away by people with a net worth of more than £1m was £500 in the three months to June 2022, compared with £300m in the preceding quarter, researchers at The Beacontree Collaborative found.

For those people with assets of between £2m and £5m, and greater than £5m, the median amount given to charity was £1,000 in the quarter to June.

The Beacontree Collaborative, which aims to increase philanthropy in the UK, found that in both cases this was higher median giving than in any quarter over the past two years.

It said that the invasion of Ukraine and various religious festivals were likely to have encouraged wealthy donors to give more.

The mean average, which is a measure more sensitive to big donations, rose sharply to £19,410 in June, compared with £4,286 last quarter and £5,026 at the same time last year. 

The researchers said there had been a “consistent upward trend in giving” among the wealthiest donors since 2020, with the fastest growth seen by those with assets of more than £5m.

In a blog, Cath Dovey, co-founder of The Beacon Collaborative, wrote: “In a period of uncertainty, wealthy people have greater resources and confidence in their ability to maintain and extend their giving.

“The increase in both the number and size of gifts by this segment in the second quarter is therefore likely to reflect their desire to continue supporting the charities they care about, especially through periods of economic and political turbulence.”

Dovey also told Third Sector: “At one end of the high-net-worth giving spectrum, we’ve got ongoing responses to appeals and to crises, and at the other end of the spectrum, we've got big planned gifts coming through as well.

“So even though there is a cost-of-living crisis in the economy generally, the high-net-worth community is continuing to give and actually is making very large planned gifts, which I think is part of a continuum of increased philanthropy in the UK.”

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