• £1.36bn donated via 292 gifts, compared to 197 gifts in previous year
  • Highest number of donations of £1m or more recorded since 2008


London – 292 donations, with a value of £1.36bn were made to charitable causes or banked in foundations in 2013, according to the latest Coutts Million Pound Donors Report which launches today. This represents a 50% increase on the number of gifts made in 2012, yet only less than 1% increase from the £1.35bn made in the previous year. The number of donations of £1m or more is the highest ever recorded since the report was first produced in 2008. 

These are the findings of the 7th edition of the Coutts Million Pound Donors Report, produced in association with the University of Kent, which tracks the number, size, scale, and destination of £1m+ donations made by individuals, foundations and corporations in the UK.

As seen in the 2013 report, higher education institutions continue to be the most popular beneficiaries, with 65 or 41% of all £1m+ donations, totalling £552m, to fund initiatives such as research projects and scholarships. Higher education institutions in fact received seven out of the ten largest donations in 2013, all worth at least £30m. A total of 33 universities received seven-figure donations and 11 of these saw more than one donation of this size. Oxford received 12 such gifts and Cambridge was given seven, though nine non-Oxbridge higher education institutions accepted at least one eight-figure gift. 

London kept its status as the centre of UK philanthropy, producing the vast majority of million pound donors, with 169 donations and 69% of the total. Together with those from the South East, this accounted for roughly three-quarters of the total value of the million pound donations last year. The only other region where the number of donations exceeded ten was the North West, with 16 donations, accounting for 6.5% of the total value. Notably though, the largest gift in 2013 came from overseas (£75m), highlighting the role that international donors play in UK philanthropy.

The UK findings form part of the wider Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report, which is a leading authority on major philanthropy internationally covering the US, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Middle East (GCC) and the UK. This multinational report, which can be found at www.coutts.com/donorsreport, tracked a total of $26.3bn donations of $1m or more – up from $19bn last year. 

Maya Prabu commented: “The seventh annual Coutts Million Pound Donors Report illustrates that major philanthropy continues to grow and thrive in the UK as the number of unique donors increased by 70% from just 98 to 166. But this report is about much more than data. As illustrated by the inspiring interviews with major philanthropists, it shows that there has never been a more exciting time for philanthropy as donors look to achieve their goals not just through giving grants, but also through the provision of social investment. Philanthropy is also increasingly in the spotlight, which provides a platform for donors to raise the profiles of the causes or organisations they support”

Dr Beth Breeze from the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent co-author of the UK report, commented: "It is very encouraging to see such a large number of million pound donations. This finding marks a new stage in UK philanthropy, when ‘giving a million’ becomes the new normal for those that have the capacity to give at the highest level. We have long known that social norms and social pressure are key to encouraging philanthropy: the heightened attention on major givers in the media, and the increasingly positive climate for philanthropy in the UK, have combined to nudge people towards making more significant donations than they might otherwise have done. 

“We should also acknowledge the role that the fundraising profession has played – many charities now devote substantial time and effort in attracting and looking after their biggest givers. Having well-trained and trusted people that are willing to make a compelling ‘ask’ for 7-figure sums, enables more charities to benefit from the generosity of our wealthiest donors."

Number and value of the UK donations since the inception of the report

Number and value of the UK donations since the inception of the report

Inspiring interviews with major donors in the UK and across all seven regions can be found online at www.coutts.com/donorsreport, including:  Sarah Butler-Sloss, Sir John Hegarty, Bill Holroyd CBE DL,Harvey McGrath, Dr Fred Mulder CBE, and Alberto Lidji of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. 

The report is available in print in summary format and online at a dedicated website www.coutts.com/donorsreport

There is also a Twitter hashtag #MillionDollarDonors.

For further information please contact 

Joanna Thorne, Corporate Communications, Coutts

T: +44 20 7753 1255

M: +44 78554 11626

E: joanna.thorne@coutts.com