Eva Astreinidou

Content Writer

Charities Aid Foundation

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The Commonwealth and its potential impact on global giving

Can you imagine the impact that over two billion people could have on charities and good causes if they were mobilised to give?

Here at CAF we are hoping to capitalise on just that through our Groundwork for Growing Giving campaign.

As the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) comes to London this week, we’re highlighting the importance of capacity building for civil society around the world.

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt last week talked about the importance of civil society in what the UK has to offer the rest of the world, and Labour’s International Development Policy recognised the importance for support for civil society.

We hope to build on this conversation as CHOGM kicks off in London today and provides a platform for leaders from the Commonwealth to discuss solutions that help find a way towards a common future.

The meeting is focused on building on the strengths of the Commonwealth to ensure it is responsive to global challenges and delivers a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fair future for all its citizens.

The power of giving amongst the world’s emerging middle classes

There are currently 2.4 billion people in the Commonwealth, equivalent to the number of people that the Brookings Institute’s research has shown are expected to join the middle classes by 2030.

CAF’s Groundwork for Growing Giving campaign highlights the potential impact that mass giving amongst these emerging middle classes could have on charity and the world’s poorest.

Our research has shown that a potential $350 billion a year could be going to good causes by 2030 if giving is promoted amongst the new wealthy demographic in the middle classes.

The Commonwealth will be particularly impacted by this trend, given that half of the top 20 global emerging cities are in the Commonwealth.

We aim to make the most of that, as we are well-placed to work with Government to further invest in civil society infrastructure organisations across the Commonwealth and catalyse an upsurge in giving.

But of course, this does not come without its challenges.

Many countries in the Commonwealth are addressing significant structural problems that civil society faces, including financial instability and an over-reliance on foreign funding; a shrinking civic space due to regressive legal and regulatory measures; and a perception that civil society is ineffective, poorly governed and not reflective of local values.

All these factors will need to be addressed to help deliver the SDGs (sustainable development goals) effectively.

We believe that investing in civil society infrastructure is key to addressing these barriers to giving.

You can read more about our campaign here.

CAF’s international reach

CAF is a worldwide giving vehicle and is proud to have representation across the globe.

The organisation already operates in countries across the Commonwealth, including Southern Africa, Canada and India, and the giving potential spans well beyond those regions.

We are fortunate enough to have offices in India, and we have the capacity to work alongside our partner in helping to grow the giving culture and make it a priority for people living in the most populous country of the Commonwealth.

We strongly advocate for providing charities and donors with a risk-free culture of giving (with a provision of validation and regulated financial services) and are well-placed for ensuring that an increase in world giving is managed as effectively as possible.

And our capacity to change the world of giving does not stop at giving money to charity, but can also extend to an array of new and untapped volunteering opportunities.

Get in touch with campaigns@cafonline.org if you’d like to hear more.

What is the Commonwealth?

Consisting of mostly of former nations of the British Empire, the Commonwealth, a voluntary association, is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states in the world.

  • Estimated population of 2.4 billion people.
  • Over 60% of the population is aged 29 or under.
  • 53 nations are members
  • The combined gross domestic product (GDP) of Commonwealth countries is estimated at £7.7trillion in 2017
  • Half of the top 20 global emerging cities are in the Commonwealth: New Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Johannesburg, Kolkata, Cape Town, Chennai and Dhaka.
  • The word ‘commonwealth’ comes from ‘common weal’, a 16th-century term for the common wellbeing.