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The UK’s super rich are shunning philanthropy


18 July 2019 at 4:59 pm
Luke Michael
Just one in 10 of the UK’s wealthiest people are regularly giving to charity, according to new research.


Luke Michael | 18 July 2019 at 4:59 pm


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The UK’s super rich are shunning philanthropy
18 July 2019 at 4:59 pm

Just one in 10 of the UK’s wealthiest people are regularly giving to charity, according to new research.

A report from the Beacon Collaborative estimates that of the 18,000 ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) people in the UK – those worth more than £10 million (A$18 million) – only 10 to 12 per cent were actively engaged in philanthropy.

This research coincides with the launch of a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) that aims to grow giving by connecting politicians with philanthropists, social investors, trusts and foundations.

Rushanara Ali MP, who is chairing the APPG, said philanthropists were a positive force in the UK and should continue to be harnessed for the common good.

She pointed out that Beacon Collaborative modelling suggested £2 billion (A$3.5 billion) could be raised for good causes if another 10 per cent of the nation’s wealthiest were convinced to give.

“At a time when we face big social divides it is more important than ever to encourage philanthropic giving and look at how we can support communities and charities who contribute so much to our country,” Ali said.

“If we can encourage more of Britain’s super rich to become philanthropists – just one more for every 10 already giving – it would raise £2 billion for youth activities, support for homeless people, tackling loneliness, and many other positive programs.”

Previous Beacon analysis has found the UK’s UHNW individuals give a median of just £240 (A$424) to charity a year.

The Beacon Collaborative’s report said while there were many stories that highlighted the social good created through giving, the public and political narrative around philanthropy seemed “ambivalent at best”.

“One of the APPG’s key roles is to address this ambivalence, by providing accurate information, a forum to debate these important concerns and undertaking a work [program] that seeks to actively reshape the positive capacities of private philanthropy and social investment,” the report said.

The AAPG wants to build the philanthropy sector over the next 10 years, by getting more private assets donated to social causes and making giving more transparent, accountable and understood.

Meanwhile, a 2016 report found Australia’s richest people were the least philanthropic in the world, giving less to charity than those from other countries.

It said Australian UHNW individuals gave away an average of $9.4 million over their lifetime, a small figure when compared to India’s mega-philanthropists, who gave away an average of $138 million during their lives.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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