$1 Million-Plus Gifts Total $19 Billion, Study Finds

Philanthropic gifts of at least $1 million in six regions around the globe totaled $19 billion in 2012, a report from the and , the Wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, finds.

(44 pages, PDF) analyzed nearly two thousand $1 million-plus gifts made by individuals, foundations, and corporations in China ($1.18 billion), Hong Kong ($877 million), the Middle East ($727 million), Russia ($239 million), the United Kingdom (£1.35 billion/$2.02 billion), and the United States ($13.96 billion). According to the report, while foundations awarded the greatest number of million-dollar-plus gifts, individuals gave more in terms of dollar amount, to the tune of $8.8 billion, or 46 percent of the total. The report also found that institutions of higher education received the most million-dollar-plus gifts — $7.05 billion, or 37 percent of the total; that donors, with the exception of those in the Middle East, tended to support organizations in their home countries; and that donors in China, Hong Kong, the UK, and the U.S. are growing more interested in social impact investments.

In the U.S., the study identified 1,408 charitable gifts of at least $1 million in 2012. While both the number of gifts and the $13.96 billion total are below 2011 levels, the average gift amount increased to $9.9 million, the highest level since 2007. The report also found that the share of million-dollar-plus gifts made by foundations increased from 35 percent in 2011 to 52 percent in 2012, while that of individuals fell from 45 percent to 35 percent.

The report, which includes region-by-region analyses and comments from donors, builds on the work of Coutts' Million Pound Donors Report, published annually since 2008, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy's Million Dollar List.

"Not only is it clear that individuals, foundations, and corporations who are giving at this level are making a significant impact in areas such as higher education, it's also an opportunity to learn why they are making these decisions and how," said Mark Evans, managing director of the . "By understanding the causes and communities million-dollar donors are passionate about, the ideas they have and the ways they like to work with others we hope to inspire and inform philanthropists, charities, and others at all levels."

"." Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Press Release 11/12/2013.