Generous India is slipping in giving index

Proportion of people in India donating to charity has fallen by 20 per cent

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Geetanjali Minhas | December 2, 2015



A large number of people in India volunteer time and donate money for good causes but still, India is coming down the generosity ladder.

According to World Giving Index 2015 by Charities Aid Foundation (CIF), India ranks at 106th position globally for its nurturing and giving culture. It does have potential to climb up the scale with its vast population. India was ranked 69th in the last World Giving Index report. The report found that the proportion of people in India donating to charity in 2014 had fallen to 20 per cent, down eight percentage points from 2013.

At a roundtable organised by CAF India in association with SP Jain Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, representatives from corporate sector, civil society organisations and students of the institute came discussed the ‘generous India’.

"Wealth is not always the best measure of generosity. It's not always about how much money you are giving, but also about how we are engaging with beneficiaries. The WGI report has revealed that India still has the largest number of givers but as a proportion of our population, it's not huge," said Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive Officer, CAF India. “Donor’s no longer just want to sign cheques but want to be engaged,” she said.

Abhejit Aggarwal, assistant vice president, responsible banking, Yes Bank, said that the essence of the WGI Index is in its simplicity and it gives us a sense of how generous we are as a nation.

“With 2% CSR, it is a game changer for rest of the world. It is important that the corporate sector integrates and channelizes social responsibilities with the objective of making money. India has more NGO’s than public schools. The bridge needs to be crossed and this is where white papers like the World Giving Index are important,’’ he stressed.

Speaking from NGOs’ perspective, Poonam Bhonsle of Door Step School said “it is important to report back to our donors and keep them informed about how their donations are being spent. We inculcate the culture of giving through our beneficiaries as they are our best ambassadors to spread the good word.’’

On a positive note Nagma Mulla, COO, Edel Give Foundation,  added, “ Given the economic situation we were going through last year, I think the findings of the World Giving Index 2015 are not too bad even though India is ranked 106th in the world. CSR brought a lot of attention on the giving landscape in the country. We are a smart population and I am hopeful we can climb up the WGI rankings in the near future.’’ 

More than 334 million Indians helped a stranger, more than 183 million gave money and more than 156 million volunteered time in 2014 says the report.​

Interestingly, neighbouring Myanmar ranks first followed by the US and New Zealand. The findings say that religious practises, cultural heritage, fundraising due to disruptive events and, behaviour of few larger countries like India and China towards charity have an impact on the overall generosity pattern worldwide.     

The report recommends building trusted institutions, good regulation, open and transparent organisations and strong governance so that people can give easily with confidence.

The CAF World Giving Index is a study of global charitable behaviour based on surveys done over five year period (2010-2014) in 145 countries through calendar year 2014. It has carried  out by the American research firm Gallup.

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