среда, 21 декабря 2011 г.

UK 'Fifth most charitable country on planet' - while world becomes more charitable place

The UK is officially the fifth most charitable nation in the world - up from eighth last year - according to a new survey by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). The survey, called the World Giving Index 2011, shows that the USA is the most charitable country, while Ireland is second and Australia third.


The World Giving Index, which is the largest study into charitable behaviour across the globe, demonstrates that the world has become a more charitable place over the last 12 months - with a 2% increase in the global population ‘helping a stranger’ and a 1% increase in people volunteering.
While more of the global population has been giving up time to help others, the worldwide financial turmoil is almost certainly to blame for the fact that 1% fewer people have given money to a charity than in 2010.
The report - which is compiled by CAF using Gallup polling information on the charitable behaviour of people in 153 nations - is based on three measures. These are ‘giving money’, ‘volunteering time’ and ‘helping a stranger’. The global average of the three giving behaviours in 2011 was 32.4%, compared to 31.6% in 2010.
According to the study, the UK is the second most generous nation globally in monetary terms, with 79% of the population donating to charity each month. The highest-ranked country for ‘giving money’ is Thailand with 85% of the population having made a donation. Ireland and the Netherlands are jointly third with 75%.
Meanwhile, 28% of the UK population ‘volunteers time’ per month, and 63% ‘helps a stranger’.
However, the most generous nation in Europe overall is Ireland, which is ranked second globally. Last year, Ireland was in third place internationally overall. This year’s report shows that 75% of the Irish population gives money to charity a month. At the same time, 38% volunteers time and 65% helps strangers.
According to the study, the most commonplace giving behaviour globally in 2011 has been ‘helping a stranger’. Almost half the global population (47%) helps a stranger in a typical month. In comparison, fewer than three out of ten people ‘give money to charity’ (29%) or ‘volunteer time’ (21%) each month.
The fourth most charitable country, according to the report, is New Zealand, followed by the UK, in fifth place; the Netherlands, sixth; Canada, seventh; Sri Lanka, eighth; Thailand, ninth; and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, tenth. Meanwhile, the country ranked as the least charitable nation on earth is Madagascar.
According to the study, giving money to charity is growing faster among the oldest age groups. Helping strangers meanwhile is becoming more common among those of middle age.
The report shows key differences in the charitable behaviours of the sexes.  Thirty per cent of females have given money to charity each month compared with 29% of males.
However, 48% of males have ‘helped a stranger’ each month compared to 46% of females – and 22% of males have ‘volunteered time’ every month compared with 19% of females.
The highest-ranked country for ‘helping a stranger’ is Liberia, with 81% of the population giving in this way each month. The USA is second, with 73%, and Ghana and Sierra Leone are jointly third, with 72%.
Turkmenistan is the country with the highest percentage of the population ‘volunteering time’, with 61% doing so per month. Second is Liberia, 48%, and third is Sri Lanka, 46%.
By far the largest increase in the percentage of population ‘giving money’ is in Asia, with an increase of 9% in South Eastern Asia and an increase of 10% in Southern Asia.
The report shows that the worldwide increase in inclination to ‘help a stranger’ is in part due to a surge in the prevalence of this behaviour in Asia – with the four Asian regions seeing increases in the percentages of their populations ‘helping a stranger’ ranging from between 4-16%.
The Gallup opinion polls, used as the basis for the World Giving Index, asked over 150,000 people – representing 95% of the global population – whether they had given money to charity, volunteered time or helped a stranger in the last month. Using information from these interviews, the World Giving Index combines the levels of each charitable behaviour to produce a ranking of the most charitable nations in the world. 
CAF Chief Executive John Low said: “The finding that the UK is the fifth most generous nation in the world, and second in terms of giving money, is excellent news for those who are less fortunate, and shows just how deep-seated the idea of charity and charitable giving is in our society.
“It is amazing that even during these tough economic times an overwhelming majority of the UK population gives to charity each month.
“However, there is always more that can be done. Creating an even stronger culture of giving in the UK will require ongoing commitment and effort by government, business and charities. 
“Those in positions of influence can show strong leadership, setting an example through their own giving. Ministers across government should actively look to encourage, rather than stifle social action and giving.
“Tax relief for charitable donations must be simple, up to date and work effectively with the way people give in an increasingly digital and interconnected world ”
CAF is an international UK registered charity. Its mission is to motivate society to give ever more effectively, and help transform lives and communities around the world. It advises on and distributes charitable funds around the world and has offices in nine countries: UK, America, Brazil, Russia, India, Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Bulgaria.