A property developer from Jersey has topped this year’s Sunday Times Giving List after pledging to give away his entire £100m fortune to causes related to the elderly.
David Kirch, 76, already gave away £1m in Co-Op shopping vouchers to Jersey’s over-70s population every Christmas, but he pledged to give away his entire fortune in 2012 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Second on the list, which is ordered by the proportion of overall wealth donated, was Christopher Cooper-Hohn, a London-based hedge fund manager who co-founded the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
He donated just over £90m of his £150m fortune to children’s causes including nutrition and education.
At number five on the list was Martin Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert website, who gave £11.1m of his £60m wealth to community and social causes.
Lewis said he wanted £1m of his pledge to be given to Citizens Advice and used a blog entry to attack government cuts to the service.
"It’s a disgrace that this brilliant organisation has had its debt counselling funding cut by the government at such a crucial time," he wrote. "It should not be for private individuals to make up this gap – and it’s a tragedy as it’s needed."
The musician Sir Elton John was in 14th place on the list, five places down on last year, after he gave £14.4m to HIV and humanitarian causes. The boy band One Direction was a new entry in 20th place after pledging £1m to Comic Relief.
But the think tank New Philanthropy Capital said it had spotted a worrying trend in this year’s list.
"This year’s figures suggest philanthropists may have been giving away a smaller proportion of their wealth," said Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC. "This may be because as their fortunes have grown the amount they give has remained roughly constant, so has decreased as a percentage."