Worldwide GIVING in 2023 (part 1)

For Norma Galafassi

As a tireless traveller, I love to see what’s happening in the world. Even more when it comes to our work as fundraisers on understanding how and why people donate, what is working for organisations, etc. Who and where are the most generous donors? Are there cultural aspects that make a difference? So, just as we did last year, at in2action we started to look at how giving evolved on our planet by compiling different data from quantitative surveys or philanthropic organisation reports and wondering what has changed.

According to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index 2023, more than half of people globally, 4.2 billion, helped someone they didn’t know, volunteered time or donated money to a good cause. The report calculates a “generosity” index based on quantitative survey data in 142 countries where people were asked to answer 3 questions: Did you help a stranger on the street? Did you give money to an organisation? Or volunteered for a good cause in the last month?.

  • According to the report, for the 6the year in a row, the world’s most generous country is Indonesia, followed by Ukraine, which is also the Index’s biggest riser, increasing its score after ranking 10th last year.
  • Many of the countries appear with high average indexes given the relative weight of high percentages of the component “people that helped a stranger on the street in the last month”, and not necessarily through monetary donations.
  • Only three of the world’s largest economies (Indonesia, United States, and Canada) are in the top 10 of the ranking, while one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world – Liberia – is ranked in fourth highest place. None of the LATAM countries rank at the top 10.
  • If looking at the percentage of people donating money around the world the top 10 countries are: Myanmar (83%), Indonesia (82%), United Kingdom (71%), Ukraine (70%), Malta (65%), Netherlands and Denmark (64%), Thailand and Iceland (63%) and the USA (61%).


  • In the USA and according to the Giving USA 2023 report, in 2022, people gave almost US$500b ($499.33 billion) to charity, a 3.4% decline compared to 2021, which adjusted for inflation leads to a decline of 10.5%.
  • As for the sources of generosity in the USA individuals still lead the pack (64%) but as expected, this declined by 6.4%. After individuals, foundations also rallied during the pandemic and continued their strong support of charities, accounting for 21% of charitable giving (an increase of 2.5%). In fact, more than US $1 of every US $5 of charitable giving comes from foundations. Corporations also increased giving by 3.4%, their influence is expected to grow. Bequests also continue to increase (9% of total with a 2.3% increase), which show that the generational wealth transfer is happening as expected.
        • TOP subsector donations in USA: Religious organisations 28%, Human Services 14%, Education 14%, Foundations 11.39 %, Health related 10%, International affairs 6% (the sub sector with the highest growth).
  • As for Canadians, the The Giving Report 2023 found that the overall percentage of people who donated to charities dropped to 28% from 36% between 2010 and 2022 amongst individual households. The rising cost of living and prolonged impacts from the pandemic have more Canadians in need of charitable services. At the same time, fewer Canadians are making charitable donations; 31.5% of charities raised fewer funds in 2022. The most recent survey data from the Charity Insights Canada Project [CICP] showed that as of May 10, 2023, decreases in all forms of revenue were reported by registered charities in Canada, with the steepest decreases seen in event-based fundraising (40% of responses) and individual contributions/donations (31% of responses). In their June 24, 2023 survey, 34% of charities reported decreased donor levels.

  • In the UK people donated US $16b (£12.7b) to charities in 2022 increasing from £10.7 billion in 2021 (according to the UK Giving 2023 CAF Report) The increase in the amount donated is a result of people, on average, donating more money, as the number of donors continues to decline. The public’s generosity in response to the invasion of Ukraine spiked giving in March and April (compared to the same months in 2021). But at the same time the war in Ukraine contributed to higher inflation – and a cost-of-living crisis. Almost 70% of people said they would need to make spending cuts in 2022. In total, a quarter (24%) of people reported they had made, or were considering making, changes to their charitable behaviours. This included reducing or cancelling a regular charity donation (5%), and choosing not to make a one-off donation (10%).
        • TOP sub sectors donations in UK (amount donated): Religion 14%, Overseas aid 14%, Animal Welfare 10%, Children and young people 8%, Homeless People 8%.
        • TOP sub sector donations (more popular according % of people): Animal welfare 28%, Children and young people 23%, Medical Research 21%, Overseas aid and disaster relief 21%, Food banks 17%.
  • In Spain, the “Study on the reality of memberships and donors of 2023” (Synergy CRM and AEF), which analyses 15 organisations that combined have 4,020,000 members and more than 2,675,000 donors, shows that they raised € 600 million from membership fees in 2022 and the average contribution rose more than €4, from €144.64 in 2020 to €148.98 in 2022. The attrition rate in 2022 was 7.61%. The number of members continued to rise and so did the number of donations, which reached 1,370,386 (higher than in 2022 but not more than the pre-pandemic numbers) with amounts of €38 euros (again, lower than before the Pandemic).
  • The income distribution of these Spanish organisations shows that less than 40% comes from individual donations, and over 45% comes from government  and corporate sources. As for the techniques used for donor and members recruiting, and despite the advance in digital, 60% of new members join either through face 2 face or through cold telemarketing.
    • PROFILE of Spanish donors: more than 60% women, medium-high SES with above-average education. The study of large donors gives a profile of 50 to 70 years old and 50% men with a good educational level.
  • According to the “Italy Giving Report 2023” (Italiani Solidali by Doxa), Italian donations have increased in times of post COVID and Ukraine war. The percentage of people who made at least one donation increased from 21% in 2020, 35% in 2021 to 55% in 2022. One in five Italians made a donation for Ukraine and the average donation went from Euros 61 to 69. Finally and as stated in Vita website, according to data from the Economy and Finance Ministry, the total amount given by Italians in 2020 might be around Euros 6.78 b, 19% higher than the previous year.

In the case of France, the survey “Baromètre des générosités” by Institute Odoxa states that 38% of people have donated less than in previous years, mainly due to a decrease in the family resources. This is easily seen in the average donation of Euros 191 in the last 12 months, a drop of Euros 9 form the previous year. The majority of annual donations (65%) is less than Euros 100 a year.

      • The French public preferred causes for donations are: Fighting diseases (39%), Childhood protection (35%) and Animal welfare (31%).
  • In the case of Australia, the ninth edition of the “Australian Charities Report” states that one fifth of registered charities are grant makers, US $8.86 AUS$13.4 billion of charity revenue is made up of donations and bequests, and charities distributed $9.7 billion in grants and donations. (Annual Information Statements of 49,402 charities from the 2021 reporting period). According to the same report, almost 50% of the charities’ revenue comes from the government, 31% from sales of goods or services, 7% from donations and bequests, another 7% from other revenue sources and 3.3 % from investments.

  • In India, according to the India Philanthropy Report 2023 (Bain&Company and Dasra), overall, private philanthropy has grown at a moderate pace of about 8% from 2017 to 2022 where private contributions totaled about US $13 b. Moreover, 86% of private philanthropy came from the following sources which remain the foundation of private giving in India:
    • 25% from CSR, which has grown 13% over the last five years, reaching US $3.3b in 2022.
    • 29% from Family philanthropy which has grown at 12% over the last five years, reaching US $3.6 b driven primarily by a growth in HNIs/affluent givers (HNIs; net worth of US $24 to US $120m, Affluent givers net worth of US $ 840k to US $24m) Within Family philanthropy, UHNI contributions (net worth above US $120 m) have been volatile with contributions dropping, despite a 9% increase in their cumulative wealth. UHNIs continue to donate substantially less compared to peers in the US, UK, and China.
    • 31% from Retail giving with contributions reaching US $4 billion, which continues to be community-driven with just over 22% of contribution value coming from formal giving to NGOs. With the expanding middle class and the sheer growth in the number of donors, this segment is expected to grow at 9% annually.
      • TOP CSR funded causes: Health Care 27%, Education 26.6%, Rural Development 20%, Environment 7.6%
      • TOP UHNI funded causes: Education 70%, Disaster Relief 14%, Health Care 6%, Art Culture 5%.

All these compiled reports reveal an interesting global picture of trends in giving and donations to nonprofit organisations. Although we see an increase in participation levels in some regions, such as Indonesia and Ukraine, countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada with a philanthropic tradition, have experienced a drop in the number of donors or in the volume of donations due to inflation and the post-pandemic.

The Ukraine crisis has also impacted donation behaviours, showing the relationship between world events and charity. In Spain, although there is an increase in the income raised, there are also signs of changes in donation patterns and the demographics of donors. Italy and France had opposite behaviours, as Italian donations raised considerbly while the French decreased.

These findings challenge us to rethink fundraising and promotion strategies to adapt to an ever-changing environment and to ensure a lasting impact.

This is the first stop on our journey, now we share with you the second part where we will continue looking at the data on how GIVING worked in the world and LATAM in 2023.

The Worldwide and LATAM Giving report by Norma Galafassi, is now available for download here, with data of over 12 reports from around the globe, key conclusions, ideas and trends for your organisation’s fundraising efforts.


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