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2017 CAF World Giving Index reveals slight drop in UK & global generosity

The UK has fallen three places to eleventh on the CAF World Giving Index, the Charities Aid Foundation has revealed.
The CAF World Giving Index measures people giving to good causes, volunteering, and helping strangers. In 2017’s report, published today, the UK’s position fell from eighth to eleventh place. This is in line with a wider trend, which saw the global index fall slightly on 2016 with donating money and helping a stranger down 1.8 percentage points, and volunteering down 0.8 percentage points.
According to CAF, although the fall is global, the decline is most noticeable among developed nations. Only six of the G20 countries appear in the top 20 and all experienced a decline in their World Giving Index score. The USA, the UK and Australia all fell three places, and despite remaining in fourth, New Zealand saw a two percentage point decrease in its score.
How the UK scored
The UK’s World Giving Score was 50%, with 58% of respondents saying they had helped a stranger in the preceding month, while 64% had donated money, and 28% had volunteered.
However, while Britain fell three places, the CAF Index suggests that its result may have been affected by the timing of this year’s survey, which took place in January and February last year, before key fundraising campaigns, which account for an uplift in giving each year.
Rise in giving seen across Africa
Elsewhere, Africa experienced growth across all three giving behaviours against its five-year average. It was the only continent to achieve this and it also did so for the second consecutive year.
African countries take 20 per cent of this year’s top 20 places (Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia), while eight (Ghana, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tunisia) saw their World Giving Index score increase by more than five percentage points, meaning Africa accounted for most of the countries on this year’s ‘most improved’ list.
Sierra Leone is now top of the league for the country most likely to help a stranger with 81% of respondents reporting they had done so over the preceding month. Cambodia however now ranks bottom with 18% of people reporting helping a stranger. Indonesia topped the table for volunteering with a participation rate of 55%. Armenia ranked bottom with a participation rate of 4%.
Sir John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation said:

“This year’s Index results are slightly down on last year’s but it’s too early to know if this is a cause for real concern. It does remind us that our global culture of generosity should never be taken for granted.
“The big story this year is the amazing rise in giving across Africa. Around the world, economic development is lifting the income of millions of people and it is truly humbling to see that the natural reaction to increasing wealth is to give back to the society that nurtured.
“Governments worldwide should make it a priority to encourage giving, build up civil society and seize the opportunity to translate economic development into a culture of generosity that will benefit everyone.”

Institute of Fundraising response
Responding to the report, Mike Smith, Head of External Affairs at the Institute of Fundraising, said:


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“The British public remain incredibly generous. We need to wait and see whether the fall in giving reported in this paper is simply an anomaly, or part of a trend.
“Donations from the public, from putting money in a collection box to leaving a gift to charity in a will, are vital. Asking people to donate to the causes they care about plays an essential role. 81% of people say that they donate to a charity only after being asked to do so.
“Many charities, especially smaller ones, report that they do not have the funding necessary to meet rising demand for their work. We must see more training and long-term support available to help them fundraise in the most effective way.”