Australia, the fifth most generous country in the world

Some 145 countries (around 96 per cent of the world’s population) were surveyed as part of the sixth annual Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index in 2015, which aims to provide a global view on giving. Of these, Australia placed as the fifth most charitable country in the world. Around the world

Calculated by averaging the charitable behaviour of people in each country, the World Giving Index is based on three types of giving – if someone volunteered, donated money or helped a stranger – over the course of the previous month.

The top ten most charitable countries in 2015 were:

  1. Myanmar
  2. United States of America
  3. New Zealand
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Netherlands
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Ireland
  10. Malaysia

Some of the key insights from the 2015 survey include:

  • 1 billion people volunteered their time, 1.4 billion donated money and 2.2 billion helped a stranger in need.
  • Myanmar took first place this year with 92 per cent of their population (aged 15 plus) donating money and half their population (aged 15 plus) volunteering.
  • Overall there was a global increase this year in people donating money and helping a stranger, but a small drop in volunteering globally.
  • For the first time since 2008, men are more likely to donate money than women.
  • While the Group of 20 (G20) represent some of the world’s largest economies, only five featured in the top 20 supporting the idea that wealth is no guarantee of charitable giving.

A snapshot of Australia

While Australia ranked fifth overall, this year financial donations were our highest form of giving at 72 per cent.

“Australia is one of the most generous countries in the world and it is fantastic that people are donating money in ever greater numbers,” says Lisa Grinham, chief executive of CAF Australia.

Helping strangers was our second biggest way to give at 66 per cent then volunteering at 40 per cent.

“One of the really encouraging things shown in this report is that there has been a big increase in giving among young people. For example there has been a 10 per cent increase of ‘helping a stranger’ over the last four years,” Grinham said.

“We now need to help nurture this generosity as we move towards a sustained approach to giving in this country, which will benefit all kinds of voluntary organisations,”

Looking ahead

Based on this year’s World Giving Index, CAF have offered the following recommendations for governments around the world:

  • Make sure not-for-profit organisations are regulated in a fair, consistent and open way.
  • Make it easy for people to give and offer incentives for giving, where possible.
  • Promote civil society as an independent voice in public life and respect the right of not-for-profit organisations to campaign.
  • Ensure not-for-profit organisations are transparent and inform the public about their work
  • Encourage charitable giving as nations develop their economies, taking advantage of the world’s growing middle classes.

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