What is the World Giving Index?

CAF has been producing its World Giving Index for more than a decade. The first CAF World Giving Index was published in the wake of the global financial crisis, and now this long-running study has given us the opportunity to look at how the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath have impacted giving around the world. 

The study provides combined insight into the scope and nature of giving around the world and looks at three aspects of giving behaviour and asks: Have you done any of the following in the past month?

  • Helped a stranger, or someone you didn’t know who needed help?
  • Donated money to a charity?
  • Volunteered your time to an organisation?
WGI page 8 report

The pandemic has altered the landscape of global giving behaviour. In 2018, seven out of the 10 most generous countries were classed by the United Nations as high-income countries. However, in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, seven out of the top 10 were low- and middle-income economies. This trend continued in 2021. Only four of this year’s top 10 most generous countries are classed as high-income countries, and six are low- and middle-income countries. 

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Key findings

The extraordinary events of past year have reinforced the importance of civil society and international collaboration. The CAF World Giving Index offers a unique glimpse of global trends in generosity: 

  • The most generous country in the world is Indonesia for the fifth year in a row
  • The Top 10 most generous countries have changed substantially in 2021
  • More than three billion people helped someone they didn’t know in 2021
  • More people than ever donated money in 2021

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"This year’s report showed major developments in giving practices around the world. More people donated money to charity in 2021 than in any year of the previous decade, despite a global pandemic and the economic hardship experienced by many communities globally. The increase in the proportion of people who helped a stranger was striking, as was the surge of generosity in several Central and South American countries and African countries. 

How people give changed during the pandemic and continues to evolve in unprecedented ways. Here at CAF, we take pride in charting these crucial developments and monitoring how trends in giving practices are shifting as countries worldwide pursue social progress, frequently in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Neil Heslop, OBE
CAF Chief Executive


Frequently asked questions

  • Why are some countries not included in the survey?

    Gallup collects the data as part of their World Poll research programme. As such, Gallup selects the countries to be included each year. The findings in this report are based on the published World Poll dataset as of 31st March 2022.For this edition, data has been included for 119 countries, representing more than 90% of the global adult population.

  • How are the ranking and scores calculated?

    To establish a rounded measure of giving behaviour in a country, the CAF World Giving Index relies on a simple averaging of the proportions of people who answered yes to three key questions (Q. In the last month have you… Helped a stranger, or someone you didn’t know who needed help? Donated money to a charity? Volunteered your time to an organisation?). The index measures countries by proportion of population giving rather than how much they give.

  • Does the CAF World Giving Index take into account political and social issues?

    The way the CAF World Giving Index is calculated does not take into account other factors which might drive or impede growth in generosity, such as the political, social and economic situation in any given country or region.

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Previous World Giving Index reports

First published by the Charities Aid Foundation in 2010, the World Giving Index is recognised as the world's leading study into global generosity.
       
  
World Giving Index 2018 380 220

World Giving Index 2021

With the challenges of Covid-19 on charitable giving around the world, this year’s World Giving Index tells a truly remarkable story.

Read our report
CAF World Giving Index 2017

CAF World Giving Index 10th edition

Now with a decade’s worth of data, we reveal the most generous countries and analyse long term giving trends around the globe.

Read the report
World Giving Index 2018 380 220

World Giving Index 2018

See which countries are the most generous, as we reveal where 146 countries rank.

Take a look at the results

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