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£1.25bn donated annually by UK Pakistani diaspora

£1.25bn donated annually by UK Pakistani diaspora

£1.25 billion is given to good causes here and in Pakistan each year by the UK’s Pakistani diaspora, according to a report.

Commissioned by the British Council (Research, Evaluation and Monitoring Unit), in collaboration with the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP), Pakistani Diaspora Philanthropy In the UK: Trends and variations questioned 1,036 individuals living in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow online and through face-to-face interviews.

It found that the most popular way to give is through monetary giving, with the largest amount coming from Zakat donations, and the smallest from time volunteered in Pakistan. Giving to UK-based causes largely targets the disadvantaged and disabled people, with health and education preferred for Pakistan-based causes and schools and hospitals the most favoured recipients.

There is also a tendency to donate to individuals in Pakistan for religious reasons, especially Zakat donations, and to organisations in the UK for non-religious giving.

Overall, £0.7 billion is donated in Pakistan, and £0.6 billion in the UK each year. Here, approximately 48% of the total comes from financial donations, 27% from in-kind donations and 25% from time volunteered. In comparison, in Pakistan, approximately 56% is from financial donations, 31% from in-kind donations and 13% from time volunteered.

The biggest motivations for giving are firstly, to help people in need (85%), and secondly, to fulfil religious obligations. Around half of respondents indicated that they gave in the UK for religious reasons, with more than 60% saying the same about Pakistan.

Face-to-face approaches appear to be the most effective way to solicit donations, most of which occurs through mosques on Fridays. The month of Ramadan was specifically noted as a time of giving significant philanthropic contributions, and the report also found that the youth of the Pakistani diaspora increasingly identify with a pan-Islamic identity rather than a South Asian one, preferring faith-based giving for wider welfare programmes or for Muslim causes that are not necessarily Pakistan-based.

The report found that while the Pakistani diaspora in the UK is a very diverse and heterogenic group, they hold similar concerns about philanthropic giving, particularly around the trustworthiness and risk of corruption when working with Pakistani organisations. Among its recommendations are further research work in order to gain a greater insight into giving habits and patterns, and for organisations to consider increasing their engagement with the diaspora and to help leverage donations more effectively.

 

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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