A global view of giving trends
Charities Aid Foundation


About this report

Background

The aim of the CAF World Giving Index is to provide insight into the scope and nature of giving around the world. In order to ensure that giving is understood in its various forms, the report looks at three aspects of giving behaviour. The questions that lie at the heart of the report are:

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?

CAF World Giving Index 2017

This eighth edition of the World Giving Index again presents giving data from across the globe over a five year period (2012-2016). The World Giving Index 2017 includes data from 139 countries that was collected throughout 2016. A full explanation of the methodology used is included in the appendices.

Key findings and conclusions

Giving is down across the globe

The proportion of people across the world who reported donating money in 2016 – when the research for this year’s report was conducted – is the lowest seen for three years.

 The CAF World Giving Index shows that there has been a global decrease in giving since the last report. This follows a high point recorded by last year’s Index, in particular for helping a stranger.  

Every Western country in the top 20 has a decreased score this year

New Zealand, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Malta, Iceland, Germany and Norway have each seen a decrease in their CAF World Giving Index score of between one and five percentage points. Scores for the continents of Europe, Asia and Oceania are lower than their five-year averages, whilst Asia specifically has seen a decline in all three giving behaviours.

Africa is the only continent to see an increase in all three giving behaviours

Last year’s report found that giving habits in Africa had recorded a positive shift after several years of little change. Africa has this year gone against the global downward trend and is the only continent to see an increase in all three giving behaviours when compared to its five-year average score.

For the fourth year running Myanmar tops the CAF World Giving Index


The high proportion of people donating money in Myanmar once again ensures its place at the top of the rankings. This is likely due to the prevalence of small, frequent acts of giving in support of those living a monastic lifestyle. However, Myanmar’s score is five percentage points lower than last year, when we reported its highest ever score. We hypothesised that this high score may have been driven by a sense of optimism ahead of the country’s first openly contested election for 25 years. In late 2015, the National League for Democracy swept to power with Aung San Suu Kyi sworn in as the country’s de facto leader after two decades of house arrest. However, transition from military dictatorship to civilian government is proving extremely difficult. Conflict escalated in Myanmar during 2016, with allegations of serious human rights abuses against the country’s displaced Rohingya Muslims being levelled by the United Nations and other agencies.

To read the full report, visit CAF's website or view the document below.