This is a boom time for philanthropy with Britain’s wealthiest people giving approximately £3.2bn to charitable causes in 2016, up 20% from 2015, according to nfpSynergy’s latest Major Donor Giving report.
The report is an updated synthesis of research into major donors and philanthropic giving following nfpSynergy’s 2012 report for the Institute of Fundraising. It pulls together key findings from recent studies into major donor giving from both the UK and the US. Among them, nfpSynergy highlights the following:
- This is a ‘boom time’ for UK philanthropy driven by new and repeat million-pound donors (The Coutts Million Pound Donors Report 2016)
- There is no consistent sector-wide definition of what constitutes a major gift although a DSC study Richer Lives: why rich people give argues that it is £5,000.
- The wealthy give for the following reasons: ‘feeling that my money will make a difference’ (74%), ‘being already interested in the cause’ (74%), ‘if it fits with my pre-determined giving objectives’ (73%) and ‘being asked by someone I know and respect’ (69%). (Richer Lives: why rich people give)
- Reasons for not giving despite being wealthy include the perceived level of impact, administrative costs and bureaucracy, and issues surrounding well-publicised financial scandals. (Charitable Giving by Wealthy People)
- Reasons for regretting giving include: not getting appropriate feedback, losing faith in the charity leadership and feeling that their money was not spent as expected. (Richer Lives: why rich people give)
- The dominant reason for not giving was not feeling financially secure (Richer Lives: why rich people give)
- There is no correlation between the percentage donated by individuals to charity and measures of personal taxation. (Gross Domestic Philanthropy: An International Analysis of GDP, Tax and Giving)
- A third of major donor respondents to Richer Lives: why rich people give do not expect access to the charity leadership until they have given a donation worth £50,000 or more.
- There is a correlation between charitable giving and volunteering time, according to CAF’s Gross Domestic Philanthropy: An International Analysis of GDP, Tax and Giving suggesting that encouraging greater levels of volunteering could yield results in terms of money donated to philanthropic causes.
nfpSynergy’s report also highlights key recommendations from other research for charities seeking major gifts, including becoming better at asking, ensuring that experiences of serious giving are positive and reinforcing, integrating legacy promotion with other forms of relationship development, considering matched funding schemes and addressing the lack of confidence in their competence.
The full Major Donor Giving Report can be downloaded from the nfpSynergy site.
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