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Welsh Philanthropy

Welsh Philanthropy

Published during the Community Foundation in Wales' Philanthropy Week 2014,  'A Portrait of Philanthropy in Wales' provides an insight into philanthropy in Wales today.  This publication can be read online below. If you'd like a hard copy of this document please contact the Community Foundation in Wales on  02920 379580.

Picture of Philanthropy in Wales

  • In Wales, in 2008/9 an estimated £384 million was donated by the public, making up 24% of the total income for the Third Sector.
  • Almost half of all third sector funding comes from the public sector.
  • In terms of UK 'regions', Wales has the lowest % of household giving to charity (25.1%)
    • Scotland 29.5%
    • Northern Ireland 46.2%
    • England 30%
  • Giving in Wales declined between 2001 and 2008, whereas in England and Scotland it has held steady.

In 2008/9 Coutts identified 201 donations of at least £1 million in the UK, totalling over £1.5 billion.....not a single one was from Wales (the only region in the British mainland not to feature).

A recent article in Network Wales has uncovered that in light of the recession Welsh people have responded by giving. Research has uncovered that Wales is becoming the UK’s most giving nation. Read more here. 

Why not have a look at Arts and Business Wales? This site has news and updates about philanthropy in all its forms! It informs you about how Wales uses philanthropy and what you can do to bea more effective philanthropist! Read more here. 


Picture of Philanthropy across the UK

  • The UK leads most of Europe when it comes to giving as a percentage of GDP at 0.73%.
  • In 2010 £10.6 billion was donated to charity.
  • 56% of adults give to charitable causes.
  • Median amount donated £12
  • Medical Research, Children and Hospitals are the most popular causes supported.
  • Those in managerial & professional occupations are most likely to give (69%), with median donation of £19.
  • Young men aged 16-24 are the group least likely to give (31%).
  • Women aged 45-64 are most likely to give (68%).
  • In 2009/10 half of all giving came from the 8% of the population which gives more than £100.
  • This is up from 6% in 2005/6.
  • 85% of donations made in the UK currently go to the 5% largest charities.
  • The Top 10 most popular charities receive donations by CAF clients were all UK-wide charities.

A report from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action concluded that low levels of public giving combined with a dependence on short term funding presented real problems for charities looking for sustainable funding solutions.

A conference convened by the Waterloo Foundation, entitled 'It's time to think about Wales', which the Foundation participated in, remarked:

"Only a handful of the UK's wealthiest individuals come from or live in Wales, in contrast to Scotland which has a far greater per capital number of such potential donors. Very few of those that are linked to Wales have philanthropic interests and seem not to have engaged with the notion of 'giving back'. There are six times more millionaires in the SW1 postcode than in the whole of Wales".


Philanthropy is more than about giving money. Volunteers are the backbone of the 30,000 or more charitable and community organisation in Wales.

  • 46% of people in Wales volunteer through an organisation at least once a year.
  • 77% of people volunteer on an informal basis.
  • 147 million hours of voluntary effort is expended each year
  • If we were to put an economic cost on this then it would amount to nearly 4% of Wales' GDP, broadly similar to the total income of the Third Sector in Wales.


Emerging trends in Philanthropy

Philanthropy is a dynamic and evolving field with new trends and ideas filtering into the philanthropy discourse. Recent trends include:

  • Private wealth is increasing.
  • This is altering the giving landscape.
  • More people are giving during their lifetime.
  • Views on passing wealth to next generation is changing.
  • Givers want to see the impact of their donations.
  • More donors are giving together.
  • Innovation in charity financing is growing.
  • The infrastructure of philanthropy services is increasing.
  • Information flows are improving.
  • Individual giving is becoming increasingly important to third sector organisations.

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