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Charity Begins at Home, Doesn’t It? Maybe Not!

Many celebrities you read about are often generous philanthropists too – many will say that ‘they can afford it’ – donating to specific charities or through their own or communal foundations such as ‘The Giving Pledge’. Some are activists, donating their time and labour for good causes, and many would presumably help a stranger in some way, usually if asked by said stranger. However, how well do you think whole countries rate in their attitude to charitable activities, in one form or another?

The Giving Index for 2015 recently released by the Charities Aid Foundation(CAF) may give you an idea of the attitudes to charity, by nations as a whole. The survey was conducted in 145 countries world-wide, covering 96% of the world’s population, assessing the percentage of the population who had volunteered time, helped a stranger, and/or donated money – the survey related only to the month previous to that in which the survey was conducted, and doesn’t specify the percentage who may contribute to charity in two or all three ways.

So how do you think your country rates in the three areas specified, and also does attitude reflect wealth, or simply a cultural (or religious) norm, inculcated over many years. Certainly, some of the richer countries are the least charitable – only five G-20 countries in the top 20 – while some of the most generous are also some of the most deprived. Men now outrank women in donating, and Iraq scored the highest in helping strangers.

Donations1

Some factors effecting behaviour and the survey:

in some countries, people are asset rich, but time poor;
in countries with a Buddhist majority there is a tradition of giving to monks and nuns;
an opportunity to help strangers, eg few visitors or tourists;
conventions such as Subbotnik – giving a Saturday free – in former Soviet states, but now much less common;
the survey was conducted in some Muslim countries during the month following Ramadan, when generosity is encouraged;
some countries are so rich that the need for charity is minimal!

As with many such surveys, there are some surprises! Remember – columns two, three and four are percentages of the population. These are the top 20 most charitable countries. Read on…

# Country Index Helping Donating Volunteering
20. Germany 47 61 69 32
19. Thailand 48 44 87 36
18. Kyrgyzstan 49 53 57 36
17. Bhutan 49 53 55 38
16. Guatemala 49 68 38 61
15. Norway 49 55 60 32
14. UAE 50 69 59 22
13. Bahrain 51 71 51 30
12. Malta 51 50 78 26
11. Kenya 52 74 39 43
10. Malaysia 52 62 58 37
9. Ireland 56 54 67 41
8. Sri Lanka 56 60 59 48
7. Netherlands 56 59 73 36
6. UK 57 63 75 32
5. Australia 59 66 72 40
4. Canada 60 69 67 44
3. New Zealand 61 65 72 45
2. USA 61 76 69 44
1. Myanmar 66 65 92 50

Is Charity Begins at Home, Doesn’t It? Maybe Not!

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