• Wealthy gave $19 billion in gifts of $1 million or more over six regions in 2012.
• Study captures nearly 2,000 gifts from almost 1,250 donors.
• 37 percent of total value of $1 million-plus gifts went to higher education.
• Research by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy builds on its Million Dollar List and Coutts’ Million Pound Donors Report.
LONDON –The first international Million Dollar Donors Report (MDDR) was released today by Coutts and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. It analyses $1 million-plus giving by donors in 2012 in six regions around the world: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, the Middle East (Gulf Cooperation Council nations), China and Hong Kong.
The report builds on the work of Coutts’ Million Pound Donors Report published since 2008, which focuses on UK donations of £1 million or more, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Million Dollar List. The new international study, conducted by the school, incorporates 1,955 donations from 1,249 donors.
A key feature of the new report is the inclusion of open, frank and insightful views and opinions of $1 million-plus donors, who explain why they share a significant portion of their wealth and why they selected the charities they supported.
The data in the new international report was collected by institutional partners in each country from a combination of publicly available sources and, in certain contexts, from surveys of prominent donors and charities.
Key international findings:
- Education gets the most dollars – Donors across the six regions gave a total of $7.05 billion in gifts of $1 million or more (37 percent of the total value) to higher education institutions in 2012. Foundations were the second most frequent recipient of $1 million dollar gifts, receiving a total of $2.87 billion from across the six regions.
- Individuals give more money than foundations or corporations – Individual donors gave 46 percent of the $19.04 billion donated in all the regions combined.
- Foundations give a greater number of gifts of $1 million or more than do individual or corporate donors. This held true in four of the six regions studied.
- Focusing domestically – Donors tended to focus on supporting organizations in their home country – overseas gifts account for just 5.6 percent of the total value of $1 million donations in all regions. The Middle East bucked the trend: 71 percent of its $1 million gifts went overseas.
- Growing professionalization – Many $1 million-plus donors are seeking to establish foundations to formalize and sustain their philanthropy. There is a stronger desire to be “strategic,” which may involve establishing a clear mission or objectives, or to collaborate with other philanthropists. A well-established trend in the United States and the United Kingdom, this is also a growing trend in Hong Kong and Russia and an emerging trend in the Middle East and China.
- Social investment – Interest in social investment is on the rise in China, Hong Kong, the U.K. and the U.S. Social investing aims to generate measurable social impact alongside a financial return.
Key findings from the U.S.:
- 1,408 charitable gifts of $1 million or more were identified, totalling nearly $14 billion ($13.96 billion).
- While this is a decrease from 2011 in both number and total value of $1 million-plus gifts, the average gift size rose to $9.9 million, its highest value since the recession began in late 2007.
- Foundations gave 52 percent of $1 million gifts in 2012, up from 35 percent of such gifts in 2011. Conversely, the share of $1 million-plus gifts that was given by individuals declined from 45 percent in 2012 to 35 percent in 2011.
- As they were globally, higher education institutions were the most frequent beneficiaries of U.S. $1 million-plus donations, accounting for 40 percent of the total value in 2012.
Mark Evans, Managing Director, Coutts Institute says: "We have tracked almost £9bn of donations in the UK since we launched the Coutts Million Pound Donors Report in 2007. Having put million pound donors on the map in the UK, we are delighted to be highlighting these philanthropic trends internationally. Not only is it clear that individuals, foundations and corporations, who are giving at this level, are making a significant impact in areas such as higher education, it's also an opportunity to learn why they are making these decisions and how. By understanding the causes and communities million dollar donors are passionate about, the ideas they have and the ways they like to work with others we hope to inspire and inform philanthropists, charities and others at all levels."
“The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has examined $1 million-plus giving in the U.S. for more than a decade, and we are pleased to partner with Coutts to expand knowledge about the nature of transformational giving in these countries and regions,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., Director of Research for the school. “People all around the world and in every culture are generous. However, there are important differences in the scope of the philanthropic sector, which may lead to a difference in the extent to which gifts are publicly reported in those regions. Differences in giving levels from region to region are likely due to cultural, economic and socio-political factors, rather than to differences in generosity.”
Osili continued, “In the U.S., while publicly announced $1 million-plus giving was lower in 2012, the average gift amount increased. This indicates that wealthy donors continue to maintain significant philanthropic efforts even with recent uncertainty in the U.S. economy.”
In addition to a printed publication, a new website brings the report’s findings to life and includes in-depth analysis, along with full-length interviews with $1 million-dollar donors and recipient charities. There is also a dedicated Twitter hashtag, #MillionDollarDonors.
Coutts is a private bank and a wealth manager with three centuries of experience, providing customised solutions for its clients. These include investment, trust and tax services. Headquartered in London, Coutts is the Wealth division of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, connecting with clients from over 40 offices in key financial centres in the UK, Switzerland, the Middle East and Asia. For further information please visit www.coutts.com.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook.
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