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Giving in Africa climbs as Western world falters

The global index was down slightly on 2016.

Giving in Africa has risen, bucking a global fall this year according to the CAF World Giving Index, the leading global index of generosity.

The CAF World Giving Index, the leading comparative study of global generosity, records the number of people who helped a stranger in the past month, volunteered their time, or gave money to a good cause. For the 2017 report, 146,000 people were interviewed in 139 countries.

This year, the global index was down slightly on 2016: donating money and helping a stranger were down 1.8 percentage points whilst volunteering was down 0.8 percentage points.

However, whilst global generosity appears to have contracted, the decline is most noticeable amongst developed nations which failed to maintain the increases made in 2016. The USA and the UK both fell three places, and despite remaining in fourth, New Zealand saw a two percentage point decrease in its World Giving Index score.

Following this global trend, Australia fell three places to sixth behind Myanmar, Indonesia, Kenya, New Zealand and the USA.

Conversely, whilst many developed nations fell, Africa showed the strong performance it saw in 2016, experiencing growth across all three giving behaviours (against its five year average). It was the only continent to achieve this and a feat it has achieved for the second consecutive year.

Twenty percent of this year’s top 20 places were occupied by African nations (Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia) and eight nations (Ghana, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Kenya Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tunisia) saw their World Giving Index score increase by more than 5 percentage points, meaning Africa accounted for  most of the countries on this year’s  ‘most improved’ list.

Lisa Grinham, CEO at Good2Give, said, “Having improved its score year on year between 2012 and 2015, Australia has this year fallen out of the top five for the first time. However, Australia still remains at the forefront of charitable giving.”

 “I think what people should take away from this year’s report is that we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to supporting our culture of giving in Australia.”

 Key findings of the report:

  • The report suggests an overall decline in global generosity, particularly amongst developed nations. Only six of the G20 countries appear in the top 20 and all experienced a decline in their WGI score.
  • Africa is the only continent to buck this downward trend, experiencing an upswing across all three giving behaviours (against its five-year average). Kenya was one of the continent’s star performers, jumping from 12th place to third with an eight percentage point increase in its WGI score.
  • Sierra Leone now tops the league for the country most likely to help a stranger, 81% of respondents reporting they had done so over the preceding month. Conversely, Cambodia now ranks bottom with only 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 just 4%.

The Charities Aid Foundation, which delivers more than £500 million to charities annually, has been producing the CAF World Giving Index since 2010 in order to inform wider research into the state of charitable giving at a national and international level.

Although only providing a snapshot, the WGI remains the largest survey of its kind undertaken. For this year’s report, more than 146,000 people were surveyed in 139 countries.

Good2Give (formerly CAF Australia) is part of the CAF Global Alliance.

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