The UK is now the most generous nation in Europe, according to Charities Aid Foundation’s CAF World Giving Index 2015. It is the sixth most generous country in the world, up from seventh in 2014.
CAF’s sixth annual global study looks at three measures of giving – the percentage of people who have in the last month:
• given to charity
• volunteered their time
• helped a stranger.
CAF’s research is based on surveys of people aged 15 and over in 145 countries carried out by Gallup in 2014, part of its World View World Poll, which is an ongoing research project carried out in more than 140 countries in 2014 that together represent around 96% of the world’s population. The countries surveyed and questions asked in each region varies from year to year.
UK giving 2015
This year’s study reports that in the UK:
• 75% of people had donated to charity in the previous year, one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. The international average was 31.5%.
• 32% of people have volunteered for a good cause, up from 29% last year. This means an additional 1.58 million people volunteered compared to the previous year, with a particular increase among women.
• 63% of people have assisted a stranger, up two percentage points on the previous year. This equates to 1.56 million people having performed an act of generosity for someone they did not know.
The report is published three weeks before GivingTuesday, the international day of giving, which comes to the UK for the second time on 1st December, and which is being co-ordinated by CAF.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“From the huge support for Children in Need to the popularity of new campaigns like #GivingTuesday, backing good causes is ingrained in our culture. Charities play a central role in society and many aspects of people’s lives. The huge numbers of people giving money and time to good causes reveals a real appetite among people to give something back”.
Top 10 countries
According to the CAF World Giving Index 2015, the most generous countries in the world are:
2. United States of America
3. New Zealand
6. United Kingdom
8. Sri Lanka
Burundi was ranked bottom of the 145 countries in the Index with China, Yemen and Lithuania just above them.
Why Myanmar? CAF offered this analysis:
As well as maintaining its top ranking for donating money, Myanmar also secures first place for volunteering time – the first country to be placed top for two of the three ways of giving since 2010. As highlighted previously, Myanmar’s strong culture of Theravada Buddhism, in which devotees practice Sangha Dana, continues to drive high levels of giving. Myanmar deserves to be lauded for its culture of generosity but sadly, the achievement will inevitably be contrasted to the continuing plight of the Rohingya people within the country.
Generosity is increasing
Two of the three measures of generosity examined by CAF increased in the past year.
• 1.4 billion people gave money to charity in 2014, a global participation level of 31.5% – up from 28.3% in 2013.
• Almost half (48.9%) of the planet’s population of people aged over 15 helped a stranger in 2014, up slightly on the previous year.
But the proportion of people who said they had volunteered time dropped slightly by 0.3% to 21%.
Conflict and disaster boosts giving
CAF’s report highlights the impact of war and natural disasters on levels of giving. For example, in Ukraine the proportion of people donating money quadruped in 2014 compared to the previous year.
Noticiable increases in giving in Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are attributed to the fundraising efforts the followed the extensive flooding throughout southern Europe in May 2014.
Giving and wealth don’t always correlate
The tendency for poorer people to give a higher proportion of their income to charity than wealthier people is reflected at country level. Some of the world’s most generous countries are among the most deprived.
For example, the G-20, which represents the world’s largest economies, accounts for only five of the world’s 20 most generous countries. Fifteen G-20 countries are outside the top 50, with six of these outside the top 100.
Young people’s generosity increases again
Last year the World Giving Index reported a decrease in those under 30 giving time, money or helping a stranger. This year the proportion has increased.
Men and women’s giving
For the first time since the research began men are more likely to give money than women. In developed countries, however, women are still more likely to donate, although CAF says that the gap in giving between the genders has narrowed to the smallest recorded in the last five years.
You can download the full CAF World Giving Index 2015 report from Charities Aid Foundation.