The Giving Experience: overcoming the barriers to giving among the wealthy in the UK

The Giving Experience

“More charitable organisations in the UK are seeking ways to develop better relationship with more wealthy donors.”

'The Giving Experience: Overcoming the barriers to giving among the wealthy in the UK' considers how fundraising organisations engage wealthy donors as partners in social change. This follows the recent ‘Barriers to Giving’ publication commissioned by Barclays Private Bank which identified a number of the key obstacles for wealthy individuals in giving.


This report is written for fundraisers from the donor perspective. It reflects their experiences and perceptions of working with fundraising organisations, identifying the reported barriers to giving and provides insight on how to overcome those barriers by understanding what makes wealthy donors tick.

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· Many wealthy individuals are motivated by a sense of belonging and shared purpose. They want to be part of the effort to achieve positive change. Fundraisers need to include them as partners and peers, building relationships based on mutual respect.

· Fundraisers need to continue to encourage entry-level giving and welcome new donors to the table, recognising that trust is a complex issue built up over time and multiple interactions.

· Fundraisers also need to recognise that wealthy people are not a homogenous group. Donor segmentation offers a powerful tool to support fundraising organisations to meet the needs of different groups of donors in more systematic and efficient ways.

· Fundraising organisations needs to be supported by the wider context. The negative public discourse on giving and the limited availability of wealthy advice to support major donors equally contribute to a weak environment for giving among the wealthy population.

Cath Dovey, author of the report and co-founder of the Beacon Collaborative, said

In an era of rising demand, more fundraising organisation are recognising the importance of private donations for their organisational resilience. Private capital often has fewer constraints than other sources of funding and can be less sensitive to political and economic transitions.

This research shows that wealthy people in the UK want to engage as partners and peers to support positive social and environmental outcomes. Fundraisers have a vital role to play in supporting them on that journey.

Full data tables available here for download


The Beacon Collaborative is an alliance of partners across the philanthropy sector with the collective goal to support a cultural change in giving among the wealthy in the UK, adding at least £2 billion a year more in high-net worth giving. This crisis demands a united, collaborative approach between philanthropists, government and civil society to solving our most pressing challenges. Now is the time to work to embed philanthropy at the heart of this fight.

This research was grant funded by City Bridge Trust and National Lottery funding from Arts Council England. City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of The City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. Arts Council England champions and develops art and culture across the UK.

The National Lottery funded grant which has enabled this research aligns with its goal to achieve resilience and sustainability for the arts and culture sector.


The report is part of a series by the Beacon Collaborative. Read all three reports on the Beacon Collaborative website - Giving Voice to Philanthropy.