Amount donated by the rich falls to £3.16bn, says Sunday Times Giving List

20 May 2020 News

The total amount donated by the UK's richest individuals has fallen by 15.7%, according to the Sunday Times. 

The newspaper has released its Giving List 2020 over the weekend as part of its annual Rich List, ranking major donors according to the proportion of their wealth that they give away.

This year those on the list gave a combined £3.16bn, down from from £3.75bn last year. This marks a decrease of 15.7%. 

The number giving 1% or more of residual wealth was 72, which marks no change from last year.

The total charitable assets for the 2020 list was £23.56bn, up 3.6% from last year's £22.75bn.

Sainsbury family donate 33% of wealth to charity 

Number one on this list is Lord Sainsbury and family, whose wealth is £512m and who gave £170.8m. The giving index shows the family has donated 33.36% of its wealth to good causes. These were to arts, education, humanitarian, and heritage causes.

Dame Janet de Botton and family, who are worth £200m, gave £65.1m and scored 32.55% on the giving index. Meanwhile, Elisabeth Murdoch whose wealth is  £1200m gave £82.4m and scored 6.87% on the giving index.

This year, there is also a Covid-19 giving list. This is topped by Alisher Usmanov, who has pledged £117.7m. Meanwhile, Rihanna has pledged £15.6m.

Sir John Low, chief executive at CAF, said: “Each year we see an impressive list that tells the story of the power of philanthropy in the UK and around the world and 2020 is no exception.

“But the importance of charities in our communities, and the power of philanthropic donations to change lives, has never been more apparent than in recent weeks.

“The addition of the coronavirus giving pledge list this year speaks to that power and the response of those who are able to help in these darkest of days shows our shared humanity and desire to assist our fellow citizens. At CAF, we have seen this generosity first hand throughout this crisis as our clients from all walks of life and from around the globe have come to us asking how best to give and where they can make a real difference.”

Rise in giving to higher education

The Giving List shows that a popular cause was education, with Elisabeth Murdoch, Sir Paul Marshall, Dame Janet de Botton and Lord Sainsbury all choosing to donate to education causes. 

Mark Greer, head of private clients at CAF, said that the increase seen in philanthropists giving to higher education in the UK is consistent with what CAF are seeing.

Greer said: “The rise in giving to higher education very much chimes with what we have seen at CAF. For many years education has been the most popular cause supported by dual US-UK taxpayers through the CAF American Donor Fund, reflecting the American tradition of donors supporting schools and universities they attended, or their children may have attended.

“In recent years this American tradition seems to have taken hold here as universities adjust to an environment with significantly less public funding. Given the challenges that universities will no doubt face following the coronavirus pandemic, this move to supporting higher education with significant gifts could not come at a better time for so many of the UK’s institutions. 

A CAF spokesperson also said it has seen quite a few CAF clients come forward to support its Coronavirus Emergency Fund for small charities.

“It’s been a true case of donors coming to us to ask how they can best help rather than picking one cause over another or coming with an idea of a specific charity,” they said. 

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