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World Giving Index shows UK is fifth most charitable nation

John Low, CEO, CAF
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World Giving Index shows UK is fifth most charitable nation3

Fundraising | Tania Mason | 20 Dec 2011

The UK has moved up three places in the World Giving Index to become the world’s fifth most charitable nation, according to new research published today.

Charities Aid Foundation’s annual survey of national generosity suggests that the USA is the most charitable country, followed by Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.  The UK has moved up from eighth place last year to fifth.

Unsurprisingly, in light of the global economic crisis, this year 1 per cent fewer people around the world said they gave money to a charity during the previous month, but there was a corresponding increase in the proportion of people who said they gave their time to help others. Some 2 per cent more respondents globally said that they have ‘helped a stranger’ and a 1 per cent more said they had volunteered.

The global average of the three giving behaviours - giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger - in 2011 was 32.4 per cent, compared with 31.6 per cent in 2010.

According to the study, the UK is the second most generous nation globally in monetary terms, with almost four in five people donating to charity each month. The highest-ranked country for giving money is Thailand with 85 per cent of the population having made a donation.

Some 28 per cent of the UK population ‘volunteers time’ each month, while 63 per cent ‘helps a stranger’.

CAF chief executive John Low (pictured) said: "The finding that the UK is the fifth most generous nation in the world, and second in terms of giving money, is excellent news for those who are less fortunate, and shows just how deep-seated the idea of charity and charitable giving is in our society.

"It is amazing that even during these tough economic times an overwhelming majority of the UK population gives to charity each month."

The World Giving Index is put together by CAF using Gallup polling information on the charitable behaviour of people in 153 nations and is billed as the largest study of its kind worldwide. The Gallup opinion polls asked more than 150,000 people – representing 95 per cent of the global population – whether they had given money to charity, volunteered time or helped a stranger in the last month.

Barbara
5 Jan 2012

Mind you that every nation means something else by giving, even if broken down into three apparently obvious giving behaviours. For example, what is called volunteering in UK wouldn't be called that way in some societies in Central Europe because people would say they just helped friends, family members, neighbours etc or did 'what decent person would do'. I'm sure this is the case in many places in the world, especially where family bonds are strong. In this light it is not a surpise that the biggest givers are only in Anglosaxon world (obviosly sharing the same terminology and general framework of mind around giving). Having said that I congratulate UK and wish to see more and the remark is only about methodology.

Stolen
20 Dec 2011

Yet poverty remains and grows in the context of inequality between incomes.

We are moving from charity for the few to charity for the many but with less resources..

Polly Gowers
Founder
Everyclick
20 Dec 2011

It’s great to hear that the British public are a nation of givers. One aspect we do need to continue to encourage is innovation in giving. For example, online shopping provides an opportunity to create new revenue streams for charities through new technologies like Give as you Live. From the £50bn spent online shopping this year, at least £1.2bn could be given to charity, without anyone digging deeper in their pockets. I hope that 2012 will be the year of digital giving, and that the UK maintains such a great rating in the World Giving Index.

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