Giving by the richest people in the UK has held steady since last year’s record levels, The Sunday Times Giving List 2018 has found.
The 260 richest people gave £3.2bn in the past year, according to the Giving List, part of the newspaper’s annual Rich List, the same as the previous year, which was a 20 per cent rise on the amount given away the year before.
Jamie Cooper, the former wife of the hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn, maintained the top position she occupied for the first time last year, giving away £299.6m, or 88.9 per cent of her £337m fortune. Hohn matched his ex-wife’s donation exactly, but it represented only 30 per cent of his overall wealth, putting him in third place on the list.
Lord Sainsbury, who has topped the list in previous years, came in second, giving away £224.4m or 40.8 per cent of his total wealth.
Since the Rich List began 30 years ago, his personal fortune has shrunk by 72 per cent, from £1.967bn to £550m, as a result of his philanthropy.
Dame Janet de Botton moved up from fifth place into fourth this year, giving away £53.2m or 26.6 per cent of her overall wealth, and fifth place was taken by new entry to the top 10, the recycling magnate Sir Mike Uren, who gave £20.6m or 14.7 per cent of his £140m fortune.
Sir Elton John, who was the 10th-biggest giver last year, slipped out of the top 10, giving away £24.3m, 8.11 per cent of his fortune, down from £34.3m, or 11.8 per cent, last year.
Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, which helps to compile the list, said the amount given away in the past year was "fantastic news".
"The people who make up The Sunday Times Giving List are a tremendous example of the huge contribution that wealthy entrepreneurs, sports stars and business people can make to the causes we all care about," he said.
"As a charity that works with hundreds of thousands of generous donors and sent more than half a billion pounds to charity last year, we know the enormous difference generous donors can make."