Britons think that the wealthier people in the country should donate an average of 25% of their money to charity through their lifetimes, according to research published by the Charities Aid Foundation.
Not surprisingly, a majority of people surveyed (53%) believed that wealthy people should give away more than they currently do.
Views on wealthy people’s charitable giving
The study was conducted by Populus for CAF form 20-22 March 2015. It involved 2,085 online interviews of UK consumers. It is not clear if any of the consumers regarded themselves as ‘wealthy’ or whether any baseline or definition was provided for ‘wealthy’. The initial question asked on the proportion of wealth to be given was “what proportion of their wealth should the more affluent in society give?”
• 62% agreed that giving to charity by the more affluent sets a good example to others
• 46% said that the wealthy could help to increase giving by talking more about it.
• those who said they were non-Christians wanted richer people to give away even more of their money than those who identified themselves as Christians: the non-Christians on average felt wealthy people should give 32% of their money away.
• 43% would like to see a UK version of The Giving Pledge, the project that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett initiated to urge wealthy individuals to give away at least 50% of their wealth to good causes during their lifetimes. Currently five British philanthropists, including Sir Richard Branson, have committed to do so publicly.
Sunday Times Giving List
The research was published a week before the Sunday Times Giving List will reveal the UK’s top donors of the year. It will be published at the weekend as part of The Sunday Times Rich List:
Sunday Times Rich List 2015 at printers. Last minute panic to delete someone going bust! Looks good but we need 50 more pages. Out 26 April
— Philip Beresford (@philipberesford) April 16, 2015
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said on the idea of a UK Giving Pledge:
“There is growing awareness of inequality around the world, and it’s clear people believe the richest in society could help to address this problem by giving significant proportions of their wealth away to help those less fortunate.
“We see so many incredible examples of generosity by the world’s wealthiest, and movements such as the Giving Pledge are leading the way in opening up the conversation and bringing giving and charitable organisations into the public eye.
“Driving a project like this forward in the UK could help more philanthropists feel comfortable speaking out about their work with charities, and help further grow giving and support among the wealthy and the public.”