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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Wealthy must step up and give more, top of charitable list says

 

Hedge funder Sir Chris Hohn donated £86,000 an hour in 2021.

The man at the top of this year’s Sunday Times Giving List has urged Britain’s wealthiest to “step up” and provide more support to charities across the country. 

Hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn, 56, tops the rankings by giving away more than 15 per cent of his current wealth. 

In 2003 Hohn set up his own firm, the Children's Investment (TCI) Fund, which was structured so that its profits would go directly to Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). TCI gave away more than £755million in 2021 - about £2.1m a day, £86,000 an hour. 

The research, compiled in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation, found that the most generous rich listers gave £3.4billion to charitable foundations or businesses last year. 

The total is up by £1.092bn on last year’s total giving. 

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Hohn said: “Climate change is the greatest crisis of our times, poor countries are struggling to grow food now because of heat waves, flooding and extreme temperatures.

“If they could understand, even on a simple level, the joy they could have by sharing it [their wealth], I think they might all be happier people. Even for those who are into philanthropy they are only giving away a half per cent of their wealth. They’re not really doing more than tokenism.” 

The Giving Index is compiled annually by The Sunday Times. It calculates the proportion of total wealth donated or pledged to charity by those who appear in the Rich List. 

According to the most recent accounts, seven members of the Rich List gave more than £100m in the past year, 42 gave £10m or more, while 90 were members of the £1m donors club.  

It is based on accounts lodged with the Charity Commission, the Scottish Charity Regulator or private questionnaires received by May 10, 2023.   

The 68-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 350 richest people in Britain in its 35th annual edition. 

The rise of Hohn’s giving has been years in the making but it can have an inspiring impact, says Neil Heslop OBE, the chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation.

Mr Heslop said: “The effect of high-net-worth individuals giving is extraordinarily beneficial and I applaud it. 

“He is an example of the trend we are seeing, someone who has already given a great deal yet continues to respond to the world around him by giving more.   

“The cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation continue to increase costs for charities and many more are relying on their vital services, at a time when the general public are reducing their donations. It is more important than ever that those who can afford to give, encourage others to join them in giving more.”

 

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