Surprise! It’s the ones with lots and lots of opportunities to name buildings and give fancy degrees to their progeny.
FT: Rich donors are more likely to give to universities than any other good cause, the Million Pound Donors Report from Coutts, the private bank, will say today.
The figures underline how education has raced up the public agenda. But the revelation is also likely to spark controversy over whether rich people should be giving their money to institutions that also receive millions from government and are in some cases quite wealthy.
Cathy Ferrier, fundraising director at Oxfam GB, the overseas aid charity, said: “The higher education sector have very effectively used their contacts, despite the fact there’s state funding for this stuff.”
She suggested that rich donors liked schemes which were “highly tangible, relatively visible and close to them”, such as university buildings that “they feel are their legacy”.
But Oxford university said giving to universities made sense because they could solve “the greatest challenges” of the coming years, such as HIV/Aids and other diseases.
Maybe! But I bet a lot of other less high profile places solving the greatest challenges could use that money too.
Higher education received 45 donations of £1m or more in 2006-2007, according to the inaugural report.
The total value of million-pound-plus donations to higher education was £296.5m – three times more than health, the next most popular sector. International development received £81.3m. Arts and culture came fourth at £57.8m. Non-university education got only £30.2m.
Mark Evans, who as head of philanthropy at Coutts advises clients on setting up tax-efficient charitable vehicles, disputed the idea that people might give to higher education because they want something named after them.
Riiiight, that’s why there are so many “Anonymous” Libraries with Anonymous heirs studying in them.
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