Sunday Times Rich List includes charitable giving data

The Sunday Times Rich List 2004, published today, includes for the first time information on the charitable and political giving activities of some of the wealthiest people in the UK.

The Sunday Times has published its 16th annual list of the wealthiest 1000 people in the UK. It has always been a useful tool for fundraising researchers, but this task is made easier this year with the inclusion for the first time of data on some of the list members’ charitable giving. The publication, also available online, includes a table of the top 10 donors, headed by Tom Hunter (£105.1m), Lord Sainsbury (£34.5m), and George Weston (£33.3m). A separate table lists the top 20 donors to political parties, headed by Lord Sainsbury (£2,500,000 to Labour), Sir Christopher Ondaatje (£1,000,000 to Labour), and Stuart Wheeler (£514,500 to the Conservatives).

There is even a section giving advice on how anyone, not just the wealthy, can give to charity. It mentions Gift Aid, payroll giving, share giving, legacies, and corporate giving.

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This is certainly one of the most fundraising researcher-friendly editions of the list published to date, presumably because of researcher Philip Beresford’s good contacts with the fundraising sector.

The list is headed this year for the first time by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich with a fortune of £7.5 billion. After three successive years at the top, the Duke of Westminster is now ranked second with £5 billion.

To qualify for entry into this year’s wealthiest 1,000 you will need to be worth at least £40 million. The wealthiest just keep getting wealthier: the combined wealth of the top 1,000 has jumped by 30% in one year, from £155.86 billion in 2003 to £202.42 billion this year. This year the list comprises 30 billionaires whereas in 2003 there were 21.

Philip Beresford, the list’s compiler, explains that the figures are an attempt to give a minimum value of individuals’ wealth. They are based on “identifiable wealth, whether land, property, racehorses, art or significant shares in publicly quoted companies”. The research teams does not include bank accounts, to which its does not of course have access, and any small shareholdings in a private equity portfolio.

The online version of the Sunday Times Rich List allows you to search the list by name, industry or keyword. You can also read articles on Ireland’s wealthy, plus analysis of the data in the form of a range of tables. These cover: