Sunday Times Rich List 2009


You probably know that The Rich List was published in today’s Sunday Times. 


Everyone likes to look at the list. They like to read about people, whose names they recognise, and see what they are really worth and how others, who we may not have heard of, have made their millions. Im sure a lot of professions look at the list and wonder how they can engage these wealthy individals and families in their business. It is no different for the charity sector. I imagine nearly every fundraiser in the UK and Ireland has gone out today to buy the list and is thinking … can we get them engaged in our organisation! Its a good question to ask but bear in mind every other fundraiser in the country is asking it! Aside from being a good read it is a useful resource to have and worth having.

The list is going to be online on Tuesday, you can check it out here.

Once again it is great to see they have written about Philanthropy. And while the data in the report relates to financial year ending on April 5, 2008 , it makes for good reading. Here is some of what they had to say:

  • the talk in the economy is on providing ‘fiscal stimulus’ those in the list seem to have taken a similar approach to their charitable activities
  • the top 100 philanthropists have brought their charitable spend up 8% on 2008
  • The top 30 givers have donated at least 4.5% of their wealth
  • Dr. John Low of CAF says “Poeple value charity more in a severe downturn”
  • Low also remarks that while income may fall in some areas but “mechanisms such as trust funds will keep the flow of cash going”
  • Mark Evans, head of Philanthropy at Coutts & Co. makes an important point, he says “I have been bullish about the state of philanthropy through the recession. People might be worth less now than before, but they still want to give”
  • Karin Jestin of Lombard Odier believes there will be a shift in focus away from the arts and culture and more towards causes that address human and social needs

My favourite quote in the whole article comes from Dr. John Low of CAF. I couldnt agree more with him so I am going to end with it:

“It is important that charities do not talk themselves into recession”

Original reporting from Sunday Times by Alastair McCall


4 thoughts on “Sunday Times Rich List 2009

  1. This might sound a little, ahem, rich, given that I also bought the ST today, but I do worry that the annual rich list kerfuffle is a serious distraction for fundraisers and actually encourages wooly thinking.

    Like many, my first reaction is oooh, I wonder who in here we could get engaged with charity x. And then I catch myself on. Because we’re being dazzled by the bling. We often have a tendency to focus on the capacity of potential donors – especially very rich ones. And charities can sometimes spend too long wondering how they can get to People With Money and not enough wondering how they can create deeper and more valuable relationships with People Who Already Care.

    There are 3 Cs that drive giving – capacity, concern and connection. And it’s connection that is the strongest of these. Especially in these times, we should be focusing on those who are already connected to our charity, who have demonstrated their concern and work out what capacity (large or small) they have to support us.

    • Hi Damian, thanks for the comment. I pretty much agree. What I liked about the list was that it had a section on Philanthropy, which is always good to see, and it talks about giving levels increasing. Thats all good news.

      In terms of the list itself, well like I said every fundraiser in the country and in the UK will have bought the list, so I think an organisation would be daft to think they should spend the next month, or even week, working out how to get to these people.

      I do think it is a useful resource though. There certainly would be no harm getting someone to check some of the names against your database? Or show them to your board? No harm having it as something to refer to.

      Lets face it this list is a way to sell more papers!

  2. Yes, the focus on philanthropy is great. And I completely agree that using it as a resource to check against your existing database and board contacts makes loads of sense.

  3. i am a Kenyan lady. i have always been performing very well in school since in primary.can i find some who is willing to sponsor me financially so that i can enroll for a masters degree in an Australian university? any assistance will be highly appreciated. my email address is

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