News and analysis
November 04, 2014

Gifts of $1-Million or More Rose Sharply to $26.3-Billion in 2013, Study Finds

Gifts of at least $1-million from donors in six parts of the world totaled $26.3-billion in 2013, up more than a third from the previous year, according to a newly released study.

Education was the biggest beneficiary, with $9.06-billion, or 34 percent, going to institutions of higher education.

The "Million Dollar Donors Report," published by financial-services firm Coutts and Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, focused on gifts of $1-million or more from individuals, foundations, and corporations in seven regions around the world; the United States, Britain, Russia, Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

American philanthropists led the way, with 1,173 donors giving a total of $16.9-billion. It was followed by $2.1-billion from 166 donors in Britain and $1.8-billion from 27 donors in the Middle East.

"While philanthropy is a lagging economic indicator, in the U.S., we are seeing an increase in the total value of $1-million-plus gifts, even though the number of donors declined compared to 2012," said Una Osili, director of research at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, in a statement.

After educational institutions, foundations were the second biggest recipient of $1-million-plus donations, according to the report.

Coutts first began tracking donations of at least £1-million in Britain in 2008, later expanding the report. Donations originating in Singapore in 2013 were included for the first time in this year's report, with $713-million in $1-million-plus gifts.

The total the previous year for the six regions (excluding Singapore) was $19-billion.

Among the other findings:

  • The total value of donations in China more than doubled compared to the previous year due to a $1.3-billion gift from investment holdings firm HNA Group.
  • Most gifts originating in Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries went to causes and organizations outside the Gulf region.
  • In the United States, more than one-fifth of the gifts included in the study were larger than $10-million.

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