Stat of the month: Giving it large

190,439 - Number of registered charities in the UK

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

This huge figure may explain why you can't stroll down the high street today without having to shield your bank details from hordes of clipboard-waving fundraisers (known less charitably as 'chuggers', charity muggers). Still, the in-yer-face approach seems to work: Brits donated an estimated £8.9 billion to charity in 2005-06. In the past year, the country's 30 most generous givers donated a whopping £1.2 billion to good causes. Among them were David and Heather Stevens, founding directors of Admiral Insurance, who last year topped up their Waterloo Foundation with £100.3 million, equal to 87% of their remaining wealth. Even the hedge funds are at it: the Children's Investment Fund pledged £50.4 million to its charitable foundation in the past year. Every major giver has started a foundation, it seems. It makes sense: their brand no longer has to share CSR kudos with an established charity, and the company can influence where the money goes (a third of foundations have admitted being controlled by their parent firm). A step up from throwing cash at the nearest cause...

Source: The Charity Commission.

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