In 2014, nearly a billion and a half people gave money to charity, and almost half (48.9%) of the global population, over the age of 15, helped a stranger. This is a little increase over the previous year. However the percentage of people who said they had time to do volunteer work decreased slightly by 0.3% to 21%.
World Giving Index 2015 issued this on the generosity report published by Charities Aid Foundation, which defines the propensity of the population to philanthropy. The index measures three types of generosity, donating to charities, doing voluntary work, and giving assistance to strangers.
Scrolling down the list, a fact that is immediately obvious is the first place of Myanmar, where the victory of recent elections of the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize, should bring the country out of decades of totalitarianism and violence. At the second position we find United States, followed by New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. On the other side Burundi, in total political and social crisis, is the less charitable country followed by China, Yemen and Lithuania.
The fact that Myanmar is at the top of the list shows that there is no correlation between generosity and wealth. The most generous in the world, to put it briefly, are the countries that the World Bank classifies as "underdeveloped" or "developing". In the first twenty placements there are in fact nations such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, in addition to Guatemala, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan and Thailand, while among the countries of the G-20, the group representing the largest economies in the world, only five are between the top 20 of the most charitable in the world.
This happens because, the CAF experts say, the index considers several factors. For instance, in Myanmar charity is an integral part of Buddhist religious practice. So people donate regularly, sometimes even on a daily basis. Extraordinary events such as natural disasters and conflicts contribute to influence the willingness to help those in need. In Ukraine the percentage of people donating to charities to help conflict victims it was four times bigger in 2014 over the previous year. While in Iraq, 79% of citizens claimed to help foreigners on the run, despite all the concerns for the country security.
In Europe, it is the Mediterranean area to record a small decline in the percentage of people contributing to the community welfare. And Italy is no exception. The Beautiful Country is at the 72nd placement with only 33% of the population engaged in some form of charitable activities. If we analyze the records in detail, we gain two positions with 50% of respondents claiming to lend a hand to those in need. A figure that reflects the situation of a country forced to confront the refugee emergency
Italy rises up even to 58th place in the donating money (32% of the population), to slide down to the 83rd for the time devoted to volunteering.
Although globally, the report completes, in 2014 people’s willingness to make sacrifices to help a community in need has increased slightly, the foundation invites the governments worldwide to ensure a major transparency and to disclose the activities carried out by non-profit organizations.
Only in this way people will be willing to donate more.
Click here to download the full report.