The UK’s wealthiest individuals donated more than £3.2bn to good causes in 2017, a 0.3 per cent increase on the previous year, according to the Sunday Times Giving List .
The Giving List 2018 was published over the weekend in The Sunday Times. It tracks more than 300 philanthropists who together donated £3.207bn to charity, up 0.3 per cent on the £3.196bn donated in the previous year.
The Sunday Times Giving List, which it publishes annually as part of its wider Rich List, ranks philanthropists based on the proportion of personal wealth given away in the last 12 months.
In an article based on its Giving List findings, the Sunday Times singled out the birth of the ‘Common Goal’ movement amongst professional footballers, most notably including Manchester United and Spain International Juan Mata, as a shift in modern philanthropy.
Common Goal, part of the Streetfootballworld, aims to use football as “a unifying force to bring communities together”. Mata is one of a growing number of professional players to have pledged 1 per cent of their wages to a collected charitable fund.
The Sunday Times called the Common Goal movement the first attempt to “create a philanthropic movement among a whole sector of rich listers”.
Jamie Cooper tops Giving List again
Jamie Cooper has topped the Giving List for the second year in a row, giving away £299.6m, or 88 per cent, of her personal fortune to a charity she founded with her ex-husband.
Cooper donated the nearly £300m to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charity she founded with her ex-husband Sir Chris Hohn, who was the third most generous philanthropist in the UK in 2017.
Hohn matched his ex-wife’s donations, giving £299.6m to their organisation, from a personal wealth of £1bn.
The second most generous philanthropist in the UK was Lord Sainsbury and family. Sainsbury, a perennial figure in the Giving List, donated £224.4m, or just over 40 per cent of personal wealth, into a network of 17 family charitable trusts focusing on the arts, education and humanitarian causes.
The Sunday Times also noted that the Garfield Weston foundation, run by Galen and George Weston and family, joined the Sainsbury family in passing the £1bn donated mark last month.
The Garfield Weston Foundation accounts for “about 45 per cent of the charitable assets captures in this year’s Giving List”.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “It’s fantastic news that people on the Sunday Times Rich List gave a record £3.207bn to charities last year. The people who make up the Sunday Times Giving List are a tremendous example of the huge contribution that wealthy entrepreneurs, sports stars and business people can make to the causes we all care about.
“As a charity which works with hundreds of thousands of generous donors and sent more than half a billion pounds to charity last year, we know the enormous difference generous donors can make.”