Nearly 300 donors gave gifts of more than £1m to charities last year, a 50 per cent rise on the number of such donations over the previous year.
Some 292 donations totalling £1.36bn – an average of £4.65m each – were given by UK donors or to UK charitable causes or banked in foundations during 2013, according to the latest Coutts Million Pound Donors Report published today.
However, while the total amount given was very close to the £1.35bn donated in 2012, the numbers of donations making up that sum was up by more than half – meaning that there were more donations of lesser amounts to arrive at broadly the same total figure.
The number of individual donors making £1m+ gifts also increased, from 98 to 166 – a jump of 70 per cent in the year.
The number of donations of £1m or more is the highest ever recorded since the report was first produced in 2008.
But the total amount given by £1m+ donors remains significantly lower than in earlier years. The inaugural Coutts report year, 2006/07, still holds the record for the greatest total sum donated, at £1.62bn. The lowest was £1.24bn in 2010/11.
Universities continue to attract the largest proportion of gifts, receiving £552m or 41 per cent of all £1m+ donations, to fund research projects or scholarships. Seven of the ten largest donations, all exceeding £30 each, were gifted to higher education institutions. In all, 33 universities received £1m+ donations.
Around three-quarters of the recorded donations originated in London and the South East. But the largest gift in 2013 - £75m - came from abroad.
Dr Beth Breeze, from the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, which co-authored the UK report, said the growing number of £1m donations was “very encouraging” and marks a new stage in UK philanthropy, as “giving a million becomes the new normal” for the wealthiest donors.
She said that the higher media profile of philanthropists and the investment by many charities in major donor fundraisers who are not afraid to make the £1m ask, have combined to create a more positive climate for philanthropy in the UK.