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Summer lull in giving, but underlying trends remain strong

Summer is typically a quiet period for HNW giving and this year has followed a similar pattern.

The median level of giving among the whole population of millionaires reverted to £500 from significantly higher figures in March and June.

However, those with wealth >£5 million gave at levels above the long-term median trend. The median amount given by this group was £4,500 for the quarter to September. If we look back seasonally to the amounts given by this group in September 2021 and 2022, the median was £1,000 in both years.

The median is a useful indicator of what is happening in the wider wealthy population.

The segmented results suggest that giving is continuing to tick up among millionaires, particularly those with investable assets >£5 million.

Average amount higher than in previous years – especially for bigger wealth holders

By contrast, the mean, or average, is a better indicator of large gifts.

In the quarter to September, the average amount given by millionaires was £9,710. This was lower than the previous two quarters, but higher than the mean in September 2021 or 2022, which stood at £2,206 and £7,665 respectively.

Among those with wealth >£5 million, the growth is even more pronounced. For this group, the average amount given in the quarter to September was £19,226, compared to £3,306 and £2,530 in September 2021 and 2022 respectively.

So, while giving was lower in the quarter to September when compared to the previous two quarters, compared seasonally to the previous two years, the values are higher, especially among those with higher levels of wealth.

Those underlying trends continue to suggest that there is more giving, and more big gifts being made, by those in the millionaire wealth bracket –especially those in the higher wealth bands.

Three years ago in June 2020, Beacon launched a quarterly survey of 300-500 millionaires to understand patterns of giving by the wealthy over a continuous amount of time.

The survey, conducted by Savanta, asks wealthy people how much they have given to charitable causes in the previous three months, and whether this was more or less than planned.

Where next?

More articles on high net worth giving data.