Britain’s wealthiest people gave away £2.66bn in the last 12 months, with Elton John and JK Rowling among the most generous celebrities, according to figures released by The Sunday Times.
The figures comes from the Sunday Times Giving List, the full version of which will be released in the next edition of The Sunday Times.
According to the initial analysis of the list, The Sunday Times said that Sir Elton John (pictured) and author JK Rowling have emerged as the most generous celebrities.
John gave £26.8m of his own wealth in the last year, predominantly to his Aids foundations in Britain and the United States of America. Rowling generated and donated £10.3m from her two charities – the Lumos Foundation and the Volant Charitable Trust.
While Sir Elton John again topped the individual celebrity list, having done so last year, his combined donations of £26.8m in the last 12 months were £7.8m less than the £34.1m he donated in 2014.
The Giving List, which is ranked by the proportion of wealth given away in the last 12 months, was topped for the third successive year by Labour peer Lord Sainsbury and his family. The Sainsburys gave away some £220m through a network of 18 trusts which, according to the Times, is equivalent to 40 per cent of their residual wealth.
Ringo Starr raised over £6.4m through an auction of Beatles memorabilia, while Coldplay donated £1.7m to charity.
Athletes also feature heavily on the list, with David Beckham raising £5m and golfer Colin Montgomerie raising £4.5m for two cancer caring centres in memory of his late mother.
There were 32 billionaires among the year’s top 200 givers, according to the times.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, which works with The Sunday Times to help produce the Giving List, said that celebrities play a huge part in getting young people involved in charity.
“Young people are the future of giving and the celebrities many people look up to can play a massive role in setting an example and showing how rewarding it is to give.
“Those on the Rich List who give to good causes provide much so more than just financial support. When stars from Coldplay and One Direction to Rory Mcilroy and David Beckham give to charity, they send out an important message about the positive impact we can all have by supporting causes we care about.”