Twenty-three gifts of over £1m were made to organisations in the cultural sector in 2014, according to the latest ‘Million Dollar Donors’ report, published by Coutts. The value of these totalled £45m – less than 10% of the £485m that went to higher education institutions, and less than 3% of the £1.56bn of major donations made across the UK last year. The figures are significantly down on the previous year, when 25 gifts of over £1m brought £91.03m into the sector, although this is recognised in the report as owing more to the “lumpy” nature of one-off gifts than to a long-term trend.

In the UK, 298 donations of over £1m were made last year, the highest number since the Coutts report began in 2007. London “retained its status as the centre of UK philanthropy”: £1.05bn was generated from 192 gifts by 74 donors in London. The largest share of all major donations (36%) went to charitable trusts and foundations, reflecting the trend for individuals and corporate donors to make their gifts into their associated foundations.

Liz Hill