The latest report on giving by wealthy individuals confirms a trend that is becoming clearer: that the giving habits of the wealthy are not being adversely affected by the economic downturn. According to the Financial Times (20 June), three-quarters of the 500 Britons and Americans surveyed for the Tomorrow’s Philanthropist report have not decreased their contributions to charity – and one in four has even increased their giving in the past year and a half. ‘The doom and gloom is encouraging the rich to be more generous, according to researchers from Barclays Wealth who have compiled a new study of charitable giving,’ says the FT. ‘Depleted investment portfolios, lower property prices and companies’ valuations have not pushed these individuals into scrimping on giving. Indeed, they would rather do away with new luxury cars, hiring staff, eating out and holidays than stop donating to favoured philanthropic causes, Barclays says. Only education fees remain untouchable.’
These findings are in line with those of a recent survey of UK philanthropists carried out by Coutts, the private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland, reported in the July Alliance eBulletin, which found that 45 per cent would maintain the same level of donations while 42 per cent planned to increase their charitable giving.