Elton John and JK Rowling top celebrity giving list


Sir Elton John and JK Rowling have topped a list of the most generous celebrities, giving away more than £37 million between them in the past year.

The Rocket Man singer gave away £26.8 million in 12 months, mostly to his Aids foundations in Britain and America, according to the Sunday Times Giving List.

Sir Elton John and David Furnish arrive at the Victoria Palace Theatre in central London for a special celebration as the musical Billy Elliot closes in the West End after 11 years
Sir Elton with his husband David Furnish (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Harry Potter author emerged as the second most generous celebrity, with £10.3 million generated and donated by her charities the Lumos Foundation, which aims to end the institutionalising of children by 2050, and the Volant Charitable Trust, which funds projects that alleviate social deprivation, as well as research into multiple sclerosis.

File photo of JK Rowling
JK Rowling (Ian West/PA)

The giving list is ranked by the proportion of wealth given away in the past year.

Stars of the sporting world also made significant contributions to charity, with David Beckham raising £5 million and former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie's foundation in memory of his mother raising £4.5 million for cancer care centres.

File photo of David Beckham
David Beckham (Martin Rickett/PA)

Musicians also parted with their wealth for good causes, with Coldplay donating £1.7 million and Ringo Starr raising more than £6 million through an auction of Beatles memorabilia, with a portion going to his Lotus Foundation, which funds projects advancing social welfare.

Financial expert Martin Lewis, chef Jamie Oliver, golfer Rory McIlroy, boyband One Direction and Queen musicians Brian May and Roger Taylor also feature among the top celebrity givers.

File photo of One Direction
One Direction also feature on the list (Joe Giddens/PA)

Almost a fifth (178) of the 1,000 people in the Sunday Times Rich List have donated at least £1 million to charity in the past year, adding up to £2.66 billion in donations.

The Sainsbury family topped the giving list for the third consecutive year. They gave away £220 million through a network of 18 trusts, equivalent to 40% of their residual wealth.

More than 30 billionaires feature in the top 200 givers, with Alisher Usmanov, the second-largest shareholder in Arsenal, giving more than £100 million.

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov
Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov (Nick Potts/PA)

Stagecoach founder Sir Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag generated or donated more than £20 million for mainly social, medical and Christian causes.

The Sunday Times Rich List will be published next Sunday.