Britain’s wealthiest people gave away a record £3.19bn to charitable causes in the last 12-months, according to figures released by The Sunday Times.
According to figures published by The Sunday Times ahead of next week’s release of the 2017 Rich List, Britain’s wealthiest people gave nearly £3.2bn to charitable causes last year, a 20 per cent increase in charitable giving from the year before.
The Giving List, published annually by The Sunday Times as part of its wider Rich List, ranks wealthy philanthropists by the proportion of the wealth given away in the last 12 months.
In an article announcing some of the top-line figures of the 2017 list, the Sunday Times said there is now a “record number of billionaires in Britain”.
Figures showed that a person would need a fortune of £110m to enter the list this year, up from £103m in 2016.
Jamie Cooper tops Giving List for first time
Jamie Cooper, former wife of Sir Chris Hohn, has topped the Giving List for the first time, giving away over 60 per cent of her personal fortune to charity.
Cooper donated £204.9m, or 60.8 per cent of her personal fortune, to what the Times described as “health, climate change and nutrition” causes.
Her former husband Sir Chris Hohn also donated £204.9m, or around 25 per cent of his personal fortune of £820m, to charity.
The two founded The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation in January 2004.
The largest actual donation made to an organisation, in terms of the donation amount, was made by Steve Morgan, founder of construction firm Redrow, who donated £226m worth of shares in his company to his own Morgan Foundation.
Morgan set up the foundation in 2001 to support charities across North Wales, Merseyside, West Chester and North Shropshire.
For the first time in four years, Labour peer Lord Sainsbury did not top The Giving List. Sainsbury and his family came second in the 2016 Giving List, donating £196.3m to education, arts and humanitarian causes, around 35.5 per cent of his total worth.
Some 260 philanthropists are named in the 2017 Rich List.
In the latest issue of Fundraising Magazine
CAF praise ‘huge contribution’ made by major donors
Joanna Walker, head of private clients at the Charities Aid Foundation, praised the “huge contribution” made to society by those on the Giving List, and said the 20 per cent increase in total donations echoed what CAF had been seeing over many years.
“This year’s Giving List echoes our experience at CAF over many years. Major donors are making a huge contribution to charities and achieving amazing things. Their importance cannot be overstated.
“We know that people in the UK are among the most generous in the world when it comes to charitable giving, and this is true of people from all walks of life.
“The huge contribution of Britain’s philanthropists makes it possible for charities to do vital work which has a lasting impact improving lives. So it is fantastic to see that those with the greatest means are becoming ever-more generous in their support for good causes.”
Mike Smith, head of external affairs at the Institute of Fundraising, said:
“This is welcome news that some of the richest people are choosing to give even more to the causes they support. I am sure that charities and major donor fundraisers will be taking note.
"It goes to show that no matter how much you have, making a difference by supporting a charity is a great thing to do and something that we all benefit from.”
The full Rich List 2017 will be published in the 7 May issue of the Sunday Times.