Philanthropic gifts of at least $1 million from donors in the United Kingdom, United States, and the Middle East totaled $56 billion in 2015, a report from , the wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, finds.
The found that 2,197 million-dollar-plus gifts were made in the three regions in 2015, including a $11 billion pledge by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud. Even excluding that mega-gift, the number and total value of million-dollar gifts were up 57 percent and 41 percent, respectively, from 1,396 gifts totaling $17.4 billion in 2014.
According to the report, the U.S. saw 1,823 donations of at least $1 million totaling $19.3 billion, up 71 percent and 37 percent from 2014. While gifts valued at $10 million or more made up 22 percent of the number of gifts, the average donation size fell from $13.3 million in 2014 to $10.6 million in 2015. At the same time, both the number and value of million-dollar-plus gifts increased across all donor types, with individuals accounting for 47 percent of the number and 70 percent of the total value, followed by foundations (40 percent and 11 percent) and corporations (13 percent and 6 percent). In terms of issue areas, higher education received 53 percent of the millio-dollar gifts and 48 percent of the total value, or $9.28 billion, followed by arts, culture, and the humanities ($1.6 billion) and public and societal benefit ($1.06 billion).
In the UK, gifts of at least £1 million increased 19 percent and 17 percent, to 355 gifts totaling £1.83 billion, in 2015. In the Middle East (Gulf Cooperation Council), twenty gifts of at least $1 million — of which the United Arab Emirates accounted for fourteen — totaled $33.9 billion, including the $11 billion commitment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The report also includes commentary about philanthropy across Europe as well as interviews with philanthropists and foundations about their passions, values, interests, and concerns.