1. Helping individuals give to charity
  2. Making charities stronger
  3. CAF Venturesome >
  4. Governance >
  5. Global Alliance >
  6. Campaigns and Public Affairs >
  7. Research >
  8. Blog Home >
  9. CAF Resilience programme >
  10. Careers >
  11. Media office >
    1. CAF welcomes party leaders’ commitments to Legacy 10 campaign
    2. CAF welcomes launch of Give More campaign
    3. New online tool for charities makes social investment simple
    4. Religious donors give more than double those of no faith
    5. Paul Cheng moves on from CAF
    6. Ted Hart appointed new CEO of CAF America
    7. CAF respond to arts donation figures
    8. Government urged to foster stronger giving culture
    9. Tax changes could strangle major donations - says charity
    10. Motherhood can change our giving
    11. CAF and Legal & General to launch pioneering local social investment scheme
    12. Charity staff in Kent help bring in £37,000 for Sport Relief
    13. CAF leads campaign with NCVO to drop ‘charity tax’
    14. Philanthropists say Budget change will slash charitable donations
    15. CAF responds to Chancellor's comments about tax relief
    16. Top charity execs: Government cap on tax relief will hit donations from major donors
    17. Poll reveals scale of backbench discontent on charity tax changes
    18. CAF responds to comments made by Treasury minister David Gauke
    19. South London music charity keeps up their good work
    20. Fewer than one in four support Government tax relief cap on charitable donations
    21. CAF congratulates winners of 2012 Business Charity Awards
    22. The Sunday Times Giving List 2012
    23. Charity Awards 2012 shortlist
    24. Charity Tax cap will cost society up to £1.5 billion a year
    25. Pasty tax and caravan tax: charity tax must be next to save “Big Society” says charity
    26. Our response to Government u-turn on charity tax
    27. Her Majesty’s Charity Work is an Example to the World
    28. HALO Trust wins top award at Charity Awards 2012
    29. Government announces endowment funds to arts organisations
    30. CAF comments on Government's announcement on Giving
    31. Donations to Armed Forces charities surge, while giving to other charities dips
    32. United Score in First Premiership Battle as Britain’s First League of Giving is Revealed
    33. CAF Social Impact Fund supports 80,000 in a year, as demand for charity funding grows
    34. Community sports clubs and charities face 15% slump in income – despite 'Olympic Effect'
    35. Make people with disabilities role models say public as Paralympic Effect takes hold – poll
    36. Payroll Giving organisations seek ways to work together
    37. Banking reforms will cost charities millions, say charity leaders
    38. Ed Balls Tops CAF's Generation Game
    39. Charities face generation time-bomb, as younger people lose the habit of giving – report
    40. Government-backed programme to fund ‘good causes’ launches
    41. Government payment by results reforms risk leaving charities in the cold – report
    42. Banking Reform Bill will leave charity cash at risk
    43. CAF responds to PM's announcement on payment-by-results contracts
    44. CAF contact centre 7th in top industry award
    45. Donations to charity fall by 20% as fewer people give, UK Giving 2012 finds
    46. Charities Aid Foundation backing this year’s Children in Need
  12. Events >
  13. Publications >
  14. CAF Glossary of terms
  15. Security centre >

Media office

CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

Our Media team provides journalists with comments, interviews and information. We can be contacted 24/7 and have an ISDN line for broadcast interviews. Call us on 03000 123 286.

Press releases

Contact our Media team

Press office direct line (24 hours): 03000 123 286

 

International giving analysis finds no significant link between a number of taxation measures and the amount people donate to charity

2 February 2016

1857A_GDP-Report_SocialMedia_Page header 509x163px

Government spending and overall tax burden appear to bear no significant correlation to how much money people in a country give to charity, according to new international data analysis by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) looking at 24 countries.

Gross Domestic Philanthropy: An international analysis of GDP, tax and giving’, looks at available data for 24 countries to examine some of the factors affecting the link between GDP and charitable giving.

The report looks at measures including overall tax burden, top tax rate, average income tax, corporation tax,  government expenditure as a percentage of GDP and employer social security charges.

Only employer social security charges appeared to show any correlation with charitable giving in these counties.

It reveals that, of the countries reviewed, the USA gives away the largest portion of its GDP to charity, followed by New Zealand, Canada, and the UK.

The report is published today by CAF, a charity which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations.

The snapshot of available international comparative data on charitable giving and taxation, examines data from countries accounting for around 75% of global GDP and 53 % of the world population.

It updates findings previously published by CAF in 2006 around international comparisons of charitable giving as a percentage of GDP, which looked at data from 12 countries.

The key findings from this analysis are:

  • From the measures looked at, there appears to be no significant correlation between levels of taxation and government spending and the amount given to charity, with the exception of employer social security charges.  This was based on analysis of tax burden, the top tax rate, employer social security charges, government expenditure as a percentage of GDP, the corporation tax rate, average rate of employee social security charges and the average income tax level at an aggregate level.
  • From the 24 countries looked at, the top four countries in terms of charitable giving by individuals as a percentage of GDP are the United States of America (1.44%) , New Zealand (0.79%), Canada (0.77%)  and the United Kingdom (0.54%).
  • The UK is the top European country for charitable giving by GDP of the countries looked at, followed by Italy (0.30%), the Netherlands (0.30%), Ireland (0.22%) and Germany (0.17%).
  • Those who volunteer their time are also more likely to give monetarily to charity.

Adam Pickering, international policy manager at CAF, said: 

“Across the 24 nations we studied, we found no significant link between government spending, income or corporation tax and the proportion of GDP donated by individuals.

“This suggests the relationship between the amount of taxes people pay and the amount they give to charity is not as clear-cut as some may have thought. The factors which motivate people to give, and influence how much they give, are incredibly complex.

“The lack of standardised reporting on charitable giving makes it difficult to arrive at definitive conclusions. But we hope this analysis leads to further, more informed discussions about the impact economic factors like tax and overall GDP have on charitable giving.”

CAF’s sixth annual World Giving Index, published in November looked at three ‘giving’  measurements for over 140 countries worldwide, donating money to a charity; volunteering time to an organisation and helping a stranger or someone you do not know.

Our new paper reveals there is a positive correlation with the recorded levels of giving across these 24 countries as a percentage of GDP and levels of participation among those living there who say they have recently  donated money, volunteered time and helped a stranger.

Notes:

  • A full copy of the report ‘Gross Domestic Philanthropy: An international analysis of GDP, tax and giving’ – can be found here
  • The increased availability of data and translation software online has allowed us to increase the analysis from 12 countries in 2006 to 24 in 2016. The aim of this paper is not to provide all the answers but to act as a document which will stimulate further discussion and understanding around this important issue.
  • As in 2006, there is still a lack of truly comparable data at an international level. In line with the 2006 analysis, information has been collected from surveys carried out in a number of countries. Data has been selected which identified giving by individuals, but excluded giving via other means such as legacies, businesses and government.  CAF has made a reasonable effort to ensure that the figures selected for use are nationally representative, accurate and comprehensive. However, it may be that more robust data sets are available for individual countries which we have not been able to gain access to. If this data can be provided, we would welcome feedback on this in order to continue to enhance the depth and coverage of this document and understanding on the subject.
  • In order to improve analysis of this topic, we would encourage countries, where possible, to:
    • Collect standardised data, by the relevant national statistical agency.
    • Increase the availability of data online.
    • Publish in the appropriate official language(s) and, where possible, a single language globally to assist with international dissemination.
  • The World Giving Index can be found here

 

Back to top