A record £3.75bn has been donated to charity by the UK’s richest individuals, but the number of individuals donating more than 1 per cent of their wealth has decreased from 86 last year to 72, according to the Sunday Times.
The publication’s Giving List, published yesterday, revealed that some 330 philanthropists donated £3.75bn in the last 12 months, a 0.5 per cent increase on last year, when £3.207bn was donated to charitable causes.
Topping the list is Jonathan Ruffer, who donated £317.5m to various arts and social heritage charities.
Kenneth Townsley is the second largest giver, responsible for funding children and medical charities, with a sum of £63.7m.
The Giving List, which was produced in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), also said that the trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation gave a total of £69m to 1,917 projects. This accounts for almost half of the assets in the Giving Lists. The majority of the grants it made were for less than £20,000 and the trust allocated most of its money to small charities.
Decline in giving
Meanwhile, the list noted a decline in the number of philanthropists donating more than 1 per cent of their salary.
This comes after the UK Giving 2019 report was published last week by CAF. It revealed a decline in regular giving from 69 per cent in 2016 to 65 per cent in 2018, while the total sum donated remained stable at £10.1bn.
Joanna Walker, head of private clients at CAF said: “I think the negative publicity around the third sector has affected the general public more than major donors, who tend to believe passionately in the causes to which they give huge sums of money and are often able to have a much closer relationship with the charity.”
She added that high net worth donors may be concerned about Brexit. “The uncertainty around Brexit makes some of our major donors nervous. Donor confidence is critical. While some are giving at similar levels to before, others are waiting to see how things pan out. Just as there was a two-year time lag between the 2008 crash and a big dip in charitable giving, so it might be 2021-22 before we see the full effects of the present political impasse.”