Fundraising consultancy Action Planning and prospect research specialists Prospecting for Gold are undertaking a survey to find out how many of the UK's 450,000 millionaires give to charity.
The companies are contacting the top 500 fundraising charities in the UK with a view to finding out the number of millionaires that donate to their cause. Prospecting for Gold's database of wealthy people will be used to screen the supporter databases of participating charities to identify their "hidden millionaires".
Action Planning and Prospecting for Gold say that this is the first survey of its kind. It is designed to uncover information on the habits and preferences of the UK’s wealthiest people, such as which causes are the most popular and whether the wealthy support more than one charity.
Prospecting for Gold’s databases, Wealth and Legacy Intelligence, hold data on over 600,000 of the wealthiest individuals and households in the UK and will be used to identify millionaires currently supporting the selected charities.
The survey will be conducted over the next six to twelve months with the final Hidden Donors Report due to be published by early 2011.
Participating charities will receive a free, two-page summary of how many millionaire donors and legators they have, broken down by age, wealth band, company directors, house value and other variables. The companies will not, however, be identifying individual charities in the public report. They say: "it will be completely anonymous and there is no fear of getting into a ranking competition".
Andrew Thomas, Director of Prospecting for Gold, is heading the survey and believes that "this presents a real opportunity for the charity sector to understand major donors in greater detail and refine their ability to fundraise from an important section of supporters".