25 November 2012
Fewer than a third of Indians give to official charitable
organisations, even though more than 80% give overall, according to
a major new study into giving across India.
The India Giving report – the largest survey ever undertaken
into giving in a single country – found that philanthropy in India
has the potential to soar in the next decade, with more than half a
billion people giving for religious and charitable reasons each
The study, carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation, which
promotes charitable giving around the world, found India has the
potential to become a global philanthropic powerhouse.
Overall the report found that most people in India - 84% of the
836 million adults - give at least once a year. Within this figure,
71% gave solely or partly for religious reasons, but by contrast,
only 12% had given for reasons not linked to religion.
The study, based on interviews with nearly 9,000 people from
across India, includes findings on people’s motivation for giving,
the causes they support, and their views on giving to religious
causes, individuals and charities.
It found only 27% of people gave to an official charitable
organisation in the year before being interviewed.
The most popular causes people want to support include
disability (18%), homelessness (12%), the elderly (10%) and
education (8%) following religious causes, which were chosen by 21%
The report found that many people want to be sure that donations
to non-governmental bodies make a direct difference to people’s
lives. It also showed people want non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) to be more transparent about their work.
Nearly three quarters of people (73%) want charities to improve
their communications while more than half of donors (52%) believe
that a ‘lack of transparency hinders donations to NGOs’. The survey
- 84% of people donated money to an individual or an organisation
in the past year.
- 27% of people gave money to a charitable organisation.
- 70% of donors prefer to donate direct to beneficiaries.
- Personal experience is the number one driver for giving, cited
by 70% of people.
- People are also motivated to give by their upbringing, family
values marking special occasions.
- The biggest barrier to giving, cited by 32% of people, is not
being able to afford to give.
- The top five causes that Indians would like to give to in
future are religion, disability, homelessness, the elderly and
- 52% of donors believe that a ‘lack of transparency hinders
donations to NGOs’.
Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive of CAF India, said:
“We firmly believe that philanthropy in India is destined to
soar over the next decade, as the economy grows and people’s
prosperity with it. That will build on the instinct to give which
is part of the ebb and flow of people’s daily lives and is as
ancient as the country itself.
“The reality today remains that tens of millions across India
need food, shelter and medicine. By the time children being born
today are teenagers, India will likely be the most populous nation
in the world. For this growth to be sustainable, the philanthropy
will be vital.
“This report shows that a relatively small proportion of
donations are channelled through the charities and not-for-profits
that are best placed to work towards India’s overarching poverty
alleviation priorities. Charities can make a massive difference to
tackling social problems across the country and we all need to show
very clearly what impact they are having on society.
“As India grows its economy and wealth, we need to build the
role of charities and not-for-profit organisations and change
attitudes so people can give more to charities in ways that will
transform the lives of millions of people.”
For more information please contact a member of our media team.
IMRB International surveyed 8,985 adults across 20
cities in India in 2011: Allahabad, Bangalore, Bhavnagar, Chennai,
Dhanbad, Delhi, Dehradun, Durg Bhilai Nagar, Guwahati, Indore,
Jalandhar, Jodhpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Ludhiana, Mumbai,
Patna, Pune and Warangal. Data was weighted to be fully nationally