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Early spike in millionaire giving drops off while women donors give more — latest data shows 

The major spike in giving by UK millionaires, seen at the beginning of 2023, dropped off in the second quarter of this year, latest data shows.

However levels of giving are still higher than at the end of 2022, according to Beacon’s quarterly giving survey of UK millionaires.

The median level of giving in the last three months (April-June) was £1,000 – compared to £3,500 in the first three months of the year. 

However £1,000 is still double the median level of giving in Quarter 4 of 2022 which was £575.

Similarly, the mean, or average, gift in Quarter 2 was worth £8,171 compared to the mean of £20,000 in Quarter 1.

However this still exceeds the mean of £5,000 at the end of 2022.

The large spike in giving at the beginning of 2023 was fulled by millionaires responding to the cost of living crisis with many charities facing high winter energy and supply costs.

Levels of giving usually increase in response to a current crisis but although the higher level of giving seen at the start of the year has now eased, it is – encouragingly – still higher than last year.

Giving often led by women

Three years ago in June 2020, Beacon launched a quarterly survey of 300-500 high net worth individuals 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. 

Over three years, the research has shown the ebb and flow of giving in different sections of the wealthy population. 

Looking at all the data so far, the numbers show that giving is often led by women. 

In the wider wealthy population, women give roughly twice as much as men, as more wealthy women give larger gifts. 

Among the most generous 10% the gap between men and women narrows, but gifts by women are still generally larger and women are often among the first to give when needs are identified. 

These findings are evidenced by the median, which has averaged £1,103 for women over the last three years, compared to £490 for men. 

Median giving levels men and women

The mean, which provides a better indicator of major gifts, was £7,575 for women over the same period and £7,000 for men.

Mean number giving between men and women


Better recognition needed for women donors

Women are not often identified as major donors, indeed, the Sunday Times Giving List includes only 9 individual women among the list of 100 major givers and 20 women who give as half of a couple or as part of a family.

However, our analysis suggests that fundraising organisations should not underestimate the role women play in giving and influencing major gift decisions. 

Recognising that women donors are a distinct segment of the giving population is an important step to ensuring they are fully engaged. 

For example, targeting fundraising events specifically at women, or bringing women together at events or in a donor circle, acknowledges the important role they play in making major gifts. 

More widely, the UK’s philanthropy sector could do more to celebrate the role of female philanthropy and to understand more about how women make decisions about giving, and how distinct this is from men. 

Certainly, women are distinctly less visible in the giving landscape than their male counterparts. 

Our research suggests it is time this changed.

Where next?

More articles on high net worth giving data.