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CAF releases WGI 2017

South Africa bucks global trend to become more generous in 2017


South Africa is one of a handful of countries to buck a global trend that has seen generosity fall according to this year’s CAF World Giving Index, the leading global survey of generosity.


The CAF World Giving Index, the leading comparative study of global generosity, records the number of people who helped a stranger in the past month, volunteered their time, or gave money to a good cause. For the 2017 report, 146,000 people were interviewed in 139 countries.


South Africa experienced a six percentage point increase in its World Giving Index score that was driven by increases across all three giving behaviour. Donating money and volunteering rose by five percentage points whilst helping a stranger saw the largest increase, a seven percentage point increase to 72%.


South Africa’s success was mirrored across the continent with Africa being the only continent to experience growth across all three giving behaviours (against its 5 year average), a feat it has achieved for the second consecutive year.


This year, the global index was down slightly on 2016: donating money and helping a stranger were down 1.8 percentage points whilst volunteering was down 0.8 percentage points.


However, whilst global generosity appears to have contracted, the decline is most noticeable amongst developed nations which failed to maintain the increases made in 2016. The USA, the UK and Australia all fell three places, and despite remaining in fourth, New Zealand saw a two percentage point decrease in its World Giving Index score.


Conversely, whilst many developed nations fell, Africa showed the strong performance it saw in 2016, experiencing growth across all three giving behaviours (against its five year average).


Twenty percent of this year’s top 20 places were occupied by African nations (Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia) and  eight nations (Ghana, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Kenya Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tunisia) saw their World Giving Index score increase by more than 5 percentage points, meaning Africa accounted for  most of the countries on this year’s  ‘most improved’ list.



Commenting on the report Gill Bates, CEO of CAF Southern Africa said:


“It is great to see South Africa going from strength to strength in the CAF World Giving Index and to see this success mirrored across Africa. What might have been dismissed as an exceptional year, last year, is now looking increasingly like an upward trend across the continent.


“Despite the challenges our country and continent is facing, it is encouraging to see that generosity continues to grow. I hope that governments across Africa will recognise this incredibly positive trend and do all in their power to foster and develop this culture of giving.”



Key findings of the report:


  • The report suggests an overall decline in global generosity, particularly amongst developed nations.  Only six of the G20 countries appear in the top 20 and all experienced a decline in their WGI score.


  • Myanmar retains its crown as the world’s most generous country for the fourth year in a row. However, despite maintaining its position it also experienced a drop in its overall score, down from 70% to 65%.


  • Africa is the only continent to buck this downward trend, experiencing an upswing across all three giving behaviours (against its five year average). Kenya was one of the continent’s star performers, jumping from twelfth place to third with an eight percentage point increase in its WGI score.


  • Sierra Leone now tops the league for the country most likely to help a stranger, 81% of respondents reporting they had done so over the preceding month. Conversely, Cambodia now ranks bottom with only 18% of people reporting helping a stranger. Indonesia topped the table for volunteering with a participation rate of 55%. Armenia ranked bottom with a participation rate of just 4%.

    The Charities Aid Foundation, which delivers more than £500 million to charities annually, has been producing the CAF World Giving Index since 2010 in order to inform wider research into the state of charitable giving at a national and international level.

    Although only providing a snapshot, the WGI remains the largest survey of its kind undertaken. For this year’s report, more than 146,000 people were surveyed in 139 countries.