This year’s Sunday Times Giving List shows that donations from the UK’s top hundred philanthropists have dropped by £818 million over the past 12 months. At the same time, the number of £1 million+ donors rose from 118 to 129 in that period and the top 30 philanthropists in the list gave away a bigger proportion of their wealth, donating 3.42 per cent compared to 3.22 per cent in the previous year.
Perhaps the real significance of the list, published on 8 May, however, lies in the responses its denizens gave to a survey conducted by the Sunday Times and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Nearly nine out of ten (89 per cent) respondents claim that they only invest in charities that can clearly demonstrate their impact. Almost four fifths (79 per cent) agree that it is important to give strategically and the same percentage believe that they do so. However, only 64 per cent of Rich List members who completed the survey are satisfied with the feedback they receive from charities and only 42 per cent felt that advice on who to give to and how to give was readily available. Perhaps as a reflection of this and of the growing appetite for informed decision-making about philanthropy, 72 per cent of the respondents said they spent a considerable amount of time researching their philanthropic decisions.