How generous are people?

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The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has recently published its latest World Giving Index, based on data from the Gallup World Poll. This brings together information from 142 countries to identify ongoing, geographical trends with regard to public generosity. 

They asked people if, in the past month, they have:

  1. donated money
  2. volunteered for a good cause
  3. helped a stranger

The headlines

Whilst there is current global instability in relation to the environment and conflict, the index does demonstrate reasons for optimism.

4.2 billion people gave money, time, or helped someone they didn’t know in 2022. This represents almost three-quarters of people across the planet.  

It seems there’s a direct relationship between how an individual perceives their situation and their likelihood to donate money. 7 of the top 10 countries in the index have above average levels of happiness, as outlined by the UN World Happiness report. 

The index ranks countries by their responses to the three prompts above and also by combining data from all three categories into one definitive score. Interestingly, those countries leading the index cover a broad diversity of cultures, geographic locations, economic conditions, languages and religions.

The UK

The UK does not rank in this year’s overall top 10 in the index, placing #17 in the world.

It’s 10 places lower in the index than it was a decade ago, having been rated as one of the top 10 most generous countries every year until 2016. The UK fell significantly down the rankings during the pandemic, where it was more challenging to participate in charitable activities.

The UK is now …

  • #3 for donating money, with a score of 71%, increasing from 65% a year earlier
  • #58 for volunteering, with a score of 26%, increasing from 24% a year earlier
  • #112 for helping strangers, with a score of 51%, falling from 52% a year earlier

Some advice…

In order to maximise the generosity of the public, the CAF advise civil society organisations to:

  • uphold good governance practices and be transparent to enhance public trust
  • partner with local communities, so decision-making is locally owned
  • build on traditional forms of giving to create organisations and a generous culture

Neil Hislop, the Chief Executive of the CAF summarises:

Giving is about building a connection with those around us, whether they are across the street or on the other side of the world. It brings us together – and that helps us to understand each other more.

If you’re interested in reading the World Giving Index in more detail, please download the PDF below.

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