George Young

Senior Media Relations Officer

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16 April 2019

Download the 2019 India Giving report here.

In the last 12 months*, nearly three-quarters (72%) of Indian adults gave money to a good cause. This means that hundreds of millions of Indian people donated to a charity, religious organisation or sponsored someone.

That’s according to the India Giving report 2019, a study of how Indians interact with charity published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

However, despite the fact that so many Indians donated to a cause they care about, the report finds that fewer people in this year’s survey took part in charitable activities in general – including donating money, volunteering and giving away food or goods.

Around eight in ten (82%) said that they did so last year*, down from 87% in 2017. Participation in these activities in the last four weeks* has seen a similar decrease, from 75% in 2017 to 69%.

Other key findings of the research include:

  • Helping the poor was the most popular cause for Indians to have donated to (55%), followed by supporting religious organisations (53%) and supporting ill and disadvantaged children (52%)
  • The median amount donated or sponsored in the last year* was 5,000 rupees, remaining consistent since 2017
  • Giving using cash was the most popular method of donation (68%)
  • Half of Indians (52%) have volunteered in the last year*, with supporting children being the most popular cause (52% of volunteers), followed by helping the poor (45%) and supporting religious organisations (41%)
  • Eight in ten (81%) believe that charities have had a positive impact on their local communities, 76% on India as a whole, while 71% said they have had a positive impact internationally. Those on higher household incomes feel more positively about the impact of charities

India Giving infographic

The most common reason for donating was because it made the donor feel good (56%), followed by believing that we all need to help solve social problems (42%) and because they care about the cause (40%).

Indian people also gave clear answers on what would encourage them to give more money, time or goods to charity. The most popular improvement would be knowing for sure how their money would be spent (38%), more transparency in the non-profit / charity sector (32%) and having more disposable income (30%).

Commenting on the report, Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive of CAF India adds:

“India has again proven itself to be a generous country, with a majority of the population either donating money or volunteering to help out those less fortunate in our society.

However, it is incumbent upon all of us in Indian civil society to be as transparent and effective as possible, to encourage even greater participation amongst the public. It’s also interesting to see 30% of Indians saying that having more money would make them likelier to give to good causes. As our middle class continues to grow, this bodes well for the future health of the Indian charity sector.”

Notes to editors:

*Please note, polling was carried out in August 2018.


This report is based on data collected by YouGov on behalf of CAF.

In India, 1,057 interviews were completed online between 2 and 31 August 2018. The survey was conducted using the YouGov panel.

Due to the level of internet penetration in India (c. 31%), the sample is representative of the urban population and is weighted to known population data on demographics including age and gender.

Differences are reported at the 95% confidence level (the level of confidence that the results are a true reflection of the whole population). The maximum margin of error (the amount of random sampling error) is calculated as ±3%.

About CAF India

CAF India is a leading and trusted expert in CSR & Philanthropy space in India. Through our mission of nurturing the culture of giving, we have been supporting businesses in maximising the impact of their CSR investments for close to two decades now.

With the help of close to 800 credible NGOs partners in more than 26 states, CAF India has been supporting over 100 corporates in turning their ideas into impact. In the last 3 years, CAF India has raised upwards of INR 242 Crores in support of diverse CSR & Philanthropic causes in India. This volume speaks of the trust that we enjoy from various industry sectors for our impeccable delivery and deep understanding of the CSR space.

To find out more about CAF India, please visit 

About CAF

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a leading international charity registered in the United Kingdom, with nine offices covering six continents.

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed.

CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities.

We are CAF and we make giving count.

About CAF Global Alliance

The CAF Global Alliance is a leading international network of independent, locally led organisations working at the forefront of philanthropy and civil society. It is a champion for better giving and civil society and harnesses local knowledge and expertise to help donors, companies and civil society make a bigger impact. Last year more than 70,000 charities received over £500m in donations in more than 100 countries.

Download the 2019 India Giving report


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