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Strong Annual Growth in Giving among UK Pentamillionaires

At the start of the pandemic two years ago, Beacon launched a quarterly pulse survey to monitor changes in giving among the UK’s wealthy population.

We have been tracking how much people gave and whether it was more or less than they expected. With two full years of data, and total respondents numbering 3,482, we can start to see the underlying trends. 

Most notably, among those with assets more than £5 million (pentamillionaires) the median level of giving on an annualised basis increased from £1,875 in March 2021 to £2,525 in March 2022, a growth rate of 35%. The median tells us that more than half of pentamillionaires are giving at this level.

“Giving increased among the whole pentamillionaire group.”

The mean tells a similar story. On an annualised basis, pentamillionaires gave on average £33,250 in the year to March 2021. That figure rose to £46,890 in the year to March 2022, a growth rate of 41%. The mean takes account of all giving in this group and particularly captures major gifts. 

Taken together these results show that giving increased among the whole pentamillionaire group, with particularly strong growth in major gifts. 

The picture among those with  £1 million – £5 million (millionaires) was not quite so strong. The median for this wealth bracket grew 4% from £1,180 to £1,225 in March 2022.

However, the mean has declined 7% over this period. In the year to March 2021, millionaires gave on average £15,250. By March 2022, this had declined to £14,120.

“…but there have been fewer major gifts.”

These results suggest giving within the whole segment of millionaires has stayed steady, but there have been fewer major gifts. 

With the tail-end of Covid bringing economic uncertainty and the unstable political situation in Europe, it is unsurprising that millionaires are less inclined to dig deep for major gifts. 

Pentamillionaires, meanwhile, have a higher level of financial security and giving has grown in response to wider need through the last two years.  

These findings provide a snapshot into the giving trends that are taking place in the high-net-worth population, for major gifts and in the wider wealthy population. It reinforces other sources that show giving is increasing most significantly among those who are more financially secure.

The latest quarter takes us to March 2022, just at the start of the cost of living crisis. The volatility in the data highlight that giving by wealthy individuals is highly sensitive to external factors, even among pentamillionaires.

We will continue to monitor results through the year to understand how the giving habits of the wealthy respond to ongoing economic uncertainty. 

Figure 1: Giving trends among the UK’s high-net-worth population (Jun 2020 – Mar 2022)

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