Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Lack of faith in charities a barrier to giving for 1 in 4 wealthy individuals

Lack of faith in charities a barrier to giving for 1 in 4 wealthy individuals

One in four wealthy individuals state a lack of faith in how charities are run and a lack of control over how money is used as major reasons preventing them from donating more to charity, according to a new report by Barclays Private Bank.

However, 7 in 10 also think giving to charity is for those more wealthy than themselves.

Barriers to Giving, commissioned by Barclays Private Bank and undertaken by global intelligence business Savanta, identifies an underlying sense of ‘us and them’ between high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and charities. This, it says, is driven by a lack of understanding and poor communication, which has a detrimental impact on the potential for HNWIs and charities to develop mutually beneficial partnerships over the longer term.

25% of wealthy individuals state a lack of faith in how charities are run, while 27% point to a lack of control over how money is used as major reasons that prevent them from donating more to charity.

The report also found that 74% of HNWIs believe philanthropy is a responsibility of those wealthier than themselves. Almost half (46%) believe that it is the responsibility of the government or state to support charitable organisations’ causes, while 35% believe that making extra donations wouldn’t be large enough to have a significant impact and a quarter (24%) cite a lack of knowledge, experience and contact with the charity sector as a hurdle to overcome when considering large donations.

Charities’ current perceptions and methods of engaging with HNWIs are also identified in the report as barriers to major giving, such as the assumptions that HNWIs often demand ‘too much control’ over their donations and that they can ‘always give more’.

To bridge the gap between HNWIs and charities, Barclays Private Bank is partnering with The Beacon Collaborative, a collective founded to encourage and celebrate major donors in the UK, and the Institute of Fundraising. The partnership aims to deliver a step change in giving by building trust and understanding between HNWIs and charities. It will support The Beacon Collaborative’s objective to generate an additional £2 billion in donations to charity by 2025. Barclays Private Bank and The Beacon Collaborative will also work with the Institute of Fundraising to deliver a series of events to help fundraisers engage and form long-term relationships with HNWIs.

Matthew Bowcock, co-founder of The Beacon Collaborative said:

“Philanthropy has a crucial role to play in modern society – especially in today’s climate, where inequality has created deep divisions. As this report reveals, there is more to be done to bridge the gap between charities and donors. Strengthening such relationships, with the help of Barclays Private Bank and the Institute of Fundraising, will be essential in meeting our goal to secure an additional £2 billion in annual collective funding by 2025.”

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising said:

“We’re delighted to be bringing the findings of Barriers to Giving 2020 to life for the hundreds of charities we support, with a series of events that will help fundraisers to better understand wealthy donors, and to build more impactful, longer-term relationships with them. At the same time there is a need to help HNWIs better understand charities and the impact we know is achieved.”





Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />