USA Ranks Fifth on ‘World Giving Index’


The U.S. doesn’t suffer from a lack of philanthropic instincts, a new report from the Charities Aid Foundation suggests. The U.K.-based organization reviewed “the state of giving” in 153 countries “representing 95 percent of the globe’s population,” and found the U.S. ranks at number five, tied with Switzerland. Criteria include the percentage of the population who have given money, the percentage of the population who have given time, the percentage of the population who have helped a stranger and a “Wellbeing” score on a scale of 1 to 10.

How such things are quantified are contained within the report.

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Here’s more from the press release about the report, issued today:

…The U.S. posted impressive numbers in all three WGI 2010 categories — with 60 percent in the U.S. giving to an organization, 39 percent volunteering time and 65 percent willing to help a complete stranger. The Index ranked Australia and New Zealand as the most charitable nations in the world, followed by Ireland and Canada in third and fourth place respectively.

The World Giving Index is the first survey on a large scale to capture information about charitable behavior in 153 countries, including many nations that have not been included in previous surveys on giving. The Index, compiled from data from an ongoing international Gallup survey, ranked the U.S. along with other countries in three categories: what percentage of the population donated to a charity; what percentage of the population volunteered time to an organization; and what percentage of the population helped a complete stranger or someone who they didn’t know needed help.

First place ranks in the individual categories of the World Giving Index went to Malta with 83 percent of its population giving money, Turkmenistan with 61 percent volunteering time to a charity, and Liberia with 76 percent of its population willing to help a stranger.

“The World Giving Index is a broad-based survey and it provides a unique overview of global philanthropy. It will give many governments a means to set benchmarks for giving and define areas where improvement is needed,” said CAFAmerica CEO Susan Saxon-Harrold. “Many countries at the bottom of the list benefit enormously from U.S. philanthropy. Our organization is helping U.S. donors give to some of those countries and it’s important that Americans continue to build-up indigenous philanthropy in countries such as China, Russia and India.”