- Wealthy in those regions gave $26.3 billion in gifts of $1 million or more in 2013.
- 34 percent of total value of $1 million-plus gifts went to higher education.
- U.S. million dollar giving rose to its highest level since 2008.
Wealthy donors in seven regions around the world gave 1,995 gifts totaling $26.3 billion in 2013, according to the second international Million Dollar Donors Report released today by Coutts in association with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
The report analyzes the number, size and recipients of gifts of $1 million or more given by individuals, foundations and corporations in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Middle East (Gulf Cooperation Council), China, Hong Kong and for the first time, Singapore.
Both the total value and the number of $1 million-plus donations increased in 2013 compared to the previous year. The value of gifts of $1 million or more also rose in each of the previously studied regions respectively.
The nature and structure of philanthropy varies greatly by region, and data on giving is more accessible in some regions than others, so the report should not be used to compare giving from region to region, as comparisons would be misleading. The report is intended as a resource for understanding similarities and differences in trends in philanthropy around the globe.
“As more million dollar donors talk about their work and share their passion for making a difference, we are better able to understand giving at this level. The report highlights donors’ diverse approaches to philanthropy and illustrates the causes that attract the most million dollar gifts" said Una Osili, Ph.D., director of research for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
“While philanthropy is a lagging economic indicator, in the U.S., we are seeing an increase in the total value of $1 million dollar-plus gifts, even though the number of donors declined compared to 2012,” Osili said. “The average size of gifts at this level rose 45 percent last year, suggesting that ultra high net worth donors may be seeing their financial fortunes recover more quickly than those of other wealthy donors. It is important to recognize, however, that every gift is hugely significant to both the donor and the recipient.”
The report includes a number of trends worth noting.
Key international findings:
- Education gets the most. Million dollar donors across the seven regions gifted a total of $9.06 billion (34 percent of the total value) to higher education institutions in 2013. Higher education topped the list of recipients in four of the seven regions (the U.K., U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore), and was second in two others (Russia and China).
- Foundations were the second most popular destination for million dollar donations. The amount they received almost doubled, rising from $2.87 billion in 2012 to $4.78 billion in 2013.
- Individuals give more money in total than foundations and corporations. Individual donors gave 45 percent of the $26.3 billion donated across all regions.
- Corporations gave the most money in China, the Middle East and Singapore.
- Foundations gave the most in the U.K. and Hong Kong.
- Individuals were the biggest source of donations by value in the U.S. and Russia.
- Focusing at home, but overseas giving increased considerably. A majority of million dollar donations is directed within the regions where they originated. The Middle East (GCC) region is the exception. Yet overseas giving increased significantly in 2013, rising to the third most popular destination in terms of dollars given. This growth was influenced by large donations to overseas causes, including $1.8 billion donated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Mark Evans, managing director, Coutts Institute, said "The purpose of this report is to celebrate and inspire philanthropy around the world. We are pleased to have expanded the report to look at Singapore for the first time. Our findings make for encouraging reading and suggest that major philanthropy is becoming more prevalent, more visible and more organised. It’s particularly interesting to see the significance of foundations as recipients of donations of $1 million or more, especially in regions where philanthropy is emerging and growing rapidly."
Key U.S. Findings
- Donors gave larger amounts compared to 2012. More than one-fifth of the $1 million dollar donations recorded in 2013 were gifts of $10 million or more.
- The total value of U.S. million dollar giving—nearly $17 billion—rose to its highest level since 2008 due to some very large donations by individuals in 2013.
- Giving at this level grew by $3 billion, despite the fact that there were fewer million dollar donors than in the previous year.
- Individuals gave the highest proportion of the total value of donations worth $1 million or more, but foundations gave a higher number of donations of that size.
- The total value of foundation giving held steady from the previous year, but corporate giving fell.
- Higher education was the most popular cause, receiving 43 percent of the total value, up from 40 percent in 2012. Million dollar-plus giving to higher education grew significantly from $5.62 billion in 2012 to $7.25 billion in 2013, a 28 percent increase in a single year.
- There was also a significant increase in the value of donations going overseas.
Additional key findings by country
- The number of donations of £1 million or more increased by almost 50 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. The number of first-time million pound donors also rose.
- Foundations gave the greatest number of £1 million-plus donations, and also contributed the highest proportion of the total value.
- Higher education and foundations were the most popular recipients.
Middle East (GCC)
- Most $1 million dollar donations went to causes and organisations outside the GCC countries.
- Gifts by foundations were the most numerous, but the total value of donations by corporations was considerably higher because of a single donation in excess of $1 billion.
- The most popular causes were overseas – primarily disaster relief and humanitarian organizations.
- The number and value of donations in 2013 surpassed 2012’s figures.
- Donations from corporations were the most numerous, although individuals gave a larger proportion of the total value.
- The most popular recipients were foundations, government and human services.
- Both the number and the value of million dollar donations increased in 2013, and there were more gifts to mainland China than in 2012.
- Donations by corporations were the most numerous, but private foundations gave a larger proportion of the total amount.
- Higher education and religion received the largest share of the total value. The Chinese government also featured heavily as a recipient.
- The total value of million dollar donations more than doubled compared to 2012, due mainly to one exceptionally large donation.
- Corporations and corporate foundations were the primary donor type, providing the majority of both the number and total value of gifts of $1 million or more.
- The most popular recipients are foundations, higher education and government. The earthquake-hit province of Sichuan also attracted a large number of donations.
- Singapore, included in the study for the first time in 2013, shows a well-established culture of major giving. The average size of donations of $1 million or more was $18.8 million in 2013.
- Corporations and corporate foundations were the primary donor type, providing the majority of both the number and total value of $1 million and up gifts.
- The most popular causes were higher education and public & societal benefit. Notably, all recipients were Singapore based.
The report builds on the success of Coutts’ Million Pound Donors Report published since 2008, which focuses on U.K. donations of £1 million or more, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Million Dollar List, which since 2000 has tracked publicly announced U.S. gifts of $1 million and up.
A key feature of this year’s report is a series of open, frank and honest interviews reflecting the views and opinions of million dollar-plus donors, who gave their time to explain why they share a significant portion of their wealth and why they give to the charities they selected.
The full report is available at coutts.com/donorsreport, a detailed website that brings the report’s findings to life and includes in-depth analysis, along with interviews with million-dollar donors across all seven regions and some charities that received $1 million-plus gifts.
The report was produced by Coutts in association with institutions in each of the regions covered:
- China: Zhejiang University
- Hong Kong: Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business & Entrepreneurship Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Middle East: The Emirates Foundation
- Russia: The Charities Aid Foundation
- Singapore: The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
- U.K.: Centre for Philanthropy, University of Kent
- U.S.: Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Follow the conversation at #MillionDollarDonors.
Notes to Editors
Since 2008, Coutts has produced the Million Pound Donors Report to provide insight into major U.K. philanthropy. In 2013, working in association with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Coutts decided to cast its net wider to capture also the scale and nature of donations of $1 million or more in the U.S., Russia, Middle East (GCC*), China and Hong Kong. This year, Singapore was also added. The result is a report that is a leading authority on major philanthropy internationally.
The report is about more than just data. The inspiring interviews with major donors demonstrate that philanthropy is driven by people’s values, passions, interests and visions for a better future. We are grateful for the frankness and honesty of the donors who kindly shared their personal experiences of philanthropy with us.
The purpose of the report is to celebrate and inspire philanthropy around the world. Over the years, we have established a longitudinal dataset that tracks trends in major giving within established and emerging sectors of philanthropy, aiming to provide donors, philanthropic advisers, fundraisers and policy makers with a robust evidence base from which to engage in debates over the social value of philanthropy and the means by which this might be promoted and enhanced. See previous editions of the Coutts Million Pound Donors Report. The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Million Dollar List can be found at milliondollarlist.org.
The Indiana University 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 @IUPhilanthropy or “Like” us on Facebook.