World Giving Index

Gain insight into the nature of giving around the world

Providing a “global view on giving trends” is the aim of the World Giving Index (WGI), the annual report of the Charities Aid Foundation that explores questions defining charitable behavior across the world. The report is based on highlighting three core aspects of charitable behaviors. It looks into whether the respondents have, within a given month, engaged in one of the following activities:

Donated money to a charity

Volunteered their time to an organization

Helped a stranger

CAF’s WGI is unique in that it considers factors that are not directly correlated with a certain country’s economic development or standard of living index, but have relevance in determining the attitude towards charitable giving on an individual basis. It is interesting to note that traditional or religious customs may affect the rankings of countries more so than economic prosperity. Thus, countries where for example the population largely follows the Theravada school of Buddhism -- which encourages charitable giving -- were found to rank higher on the WGI than countries that are far more prosperous in purely economic terms.

10th Anniversary Edition Key Findings

The most generous country in the world over adecade of CAF World Giving Index is the United States of America
The United States of America occupies first place over the last 10 years with a score of 58%. This is followed by Myanmar in second place and New Zealand in third place. Indonesia, however, is the only country in the top 10 to have improved its one year scores over recent years, with the others on a downwards trajectory.

New Zealand is the only country to feature in the top 10 on all three giving measures
New Zealand ranks amongst the top 10 countries over 10 years, not only on the overall World Giving Index, but also on each of the three measures which make up the Index; helping a stranger, donating money and volunteering time – it is the only country to do so. At the other end, China is the only country to feature in the bottom 10 on all three measures and is, in fact, in last place of all the countries included on its overall World Giving Index score.

Half of the biggest risers over time are from Asia
Since the World Giving Index was first produced in 2010, five of the top 10 biggest risers are to be found in Asia, with Indonesia leading the way.

More than two and a half billion people have helped a stranger in the last decade
Helping a stranger is the most commonly performed giving behaviour across the world with 48.3% having done so across the 10 years of the World Giving Index. This equates to more than two and a half billion people.

There is no ‘magic bullet’ answer to tell us ‘what makes a country generous?’
There is no one trait that points to a country’s generosity. Top performing countries represent a wide range of geographies, religions, cultures and levels of wealth – what they all have in common is simply an
inspiring willingness to give.

CAF World Giving Index over 10 years_North America (USA)

Past Issues

2016 World Giving Index
2015 World Giving Index
2014 World Giving Index
2013 World Giving Index
2012 World Giving Index
2011 World Giving Index
2010 World Giving Index


2013 World Giving Index

2012 World Giving Index