A total of 298 donations of £1m or more were made to charitable causes and foundations in the UK in 2014, the highest record figure since 2008, according to the latest edition of the Coutts Million Pound Donors Report.
Those donations cumulatively amounted to £1.56bn, a surge of nearly 15% from £1.36bn a year ago.
The 15% rise in the mean value to £5.3m suggests an upward trend in large-scale philanthropy, the report noted.
The report, produced in association with Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, tracks the number, size, scale, and destination of £1 million plus donations made by individuals, foundations and corporations in the UK.
As in previous years, higher education and foundations were the main destinations for million-pound donations, together accounting for 67% of the total value.
Foundations received 36% of donations, up from 23% in 2013, and higher education institutions received five out of the 10 largest donations, each worth at least £26m, the report added.
A total of 35 universities received donations of a million pounds or more with Oxford and Cambridge universities receiving 11 and 10 £1 million plus donations respectively.
According to the report London remains the centre of philanthropy in the UK, producing 192 donations from 74 different donors -accounting for just over two thirds of the total value, equating to £1.05bn.
Coutts Institute executive director Lenka Setkova said: "The 8th annual Coutts Million Pound Donors Report illustrates that major philanthropy continues to grow and thrive in the UK as the total amount given increased by £200m and the number of donations was the highest we have ever recorded. The high proportion of funds given to charitable trusts and foundations indicates that major donors are continuing to organise their giving for the longer term.
"But this report is about much more than data. As illustrated by the inspiring interviews with major philanthropists, it shows that there has never been a more exciting time for philanthropy as donors look to achieve their goals not just through giving grants, but through leveraging other assets including their time, networks or expertise – and in some cases, through how consideration is given to environmental, social, environmental or ethical factors in the investment of endowments."
Coutts Million Pound Donor report was first launched in 2008. The latest report was co-authored by Beth Breeze, director of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent.