Marcus Rashford tops Sunday Times Giving List after raising £20m to tackle food poverty

21 May 2021 News

Marcus Rashford at World Cup 2018

Image credit: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro) under Creative Commons 4.0

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has become the youngest person to top The Sunday Times Giving List, after he helped to raise £20m for FareShare.

The Giving List details the top 20 individuals and families who have donated the largest proportion of their wealth, as part of The Sunday Times Rich List.

The ranking sets the sums donated to or raised for charity against the Rich List wealth valuation for those individuals or families. 

Rashford, 23, has a fortune of £16m. He launched a high-profile campaign to make sure children eligible for free school meals were fed regularly when schools were shut during lockdown. 

Acting as an ambassador for FareShare, Rashford’s efforts triggered an estimated £20m of additional donations to the food poverty charity.

This gives him a Giving Index of score 125, as £20m represents 125% of his net worth of £16m. 

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare chief executive, said: “We are delighted he’s been honoured in this way. Marcus’s support for FareShare over the last year -- and his commitment to tackling child hunger-- has simply been incredible. His own experience of relying on free school meals to eat, brings authenticity and compassion to his campaigning, and his status as a Premier League footballer, means people and politicians sit up and take notice.” 

Record donation levels

For the first time, donations tracked by The Sunday Times exceeded £4bn, with additional donations being made to Covid-19 related issues.

Over the past 12 months, £4.305bn was gifted by those on the rich list, representing a 36.1% rise on the £3.164bn given last year.  

The Giving List recorded nine donations of more than £100m and 71 donations of at least £10m, up from 42 recorded in 2020. 

The Sunday Times says that the pandemic sparked this increase in donations, and the list has tracked £520m of donations to Covid-19 related causes. These cover PPE supplies, the alleviation of food poverty, and community support.

Jordan Henderson, the captain of Liverpool, also features in this year’s Giving List, ranked sixth, to mark his role in raising £4m for the NHS from fellow Premier League footballers through the #PlayersTogether Covid-19 appeal. 

Rashford finishes ahead of the Sainsbury family, serial benefactors through a network of family charitable trusts. These trusts gifted or generated for charity just under £230m in the past year. 

Jonathan Ruffer, whose Auckland Project is leading the regeneration of the former Co Durham mining town, ranks third with £62m gifted in 2020. 

Leonard Blavatnik is the richest person in the UK with a fortune of £23bn.

Blavatnik is the richest of the record-breaking 171 billionaires in the UK recorded this year, up 24 from 2020, a year-on-year increase that is also a record. 

He does not feature in the top 20 on the Giving List, yet the Blavatnik Family Foundation has so far contributed more than $700m to over 250 charitable institutions worldwide. In 2017 Blavatnik was knighted by the Queen for his service to philanthropy.

The combined wealth of the 171 UK billionaires is £597.269bn, up £106.582bn, or 21.7%, on the total wealth of the billionaires in last year’s Rich List. 

Fundraising Magazine is a practical and inspiring magazine that provides fundraising professionals with the tools to unlock new revenue streams, yield better results from campaigns and boost donor income. Subscribe today to receive 10 issues per year and access to premium fundraising content on Find more information here and subscribe today!