Private charity is critical in making America the unique country it is, but we are not the only country in the world with thriving philanthropy.
Forbes Insights and BNP Paribas recently release its annual Individual Philanthropy Index. The Philanthropy Index measures charitable motivations, interests and giving around the world. Key findings:
The U.S. ranks #1 for both current and projected giving. Europe placed second.
The U.S. again ranks first for the total dollar amount given. The Middle East had the sharpest increase in giving year over year.
Religious faith is the top motivator for charity in the Middle East. It is personal experience in the United States. European respondents report giving out of a sense of duty, and Asians are motivated by a desire to give back to society.
American and Middle Eastern philanthropists prefer to give locally, Europeans give regionally, and Asians give nationally.
Health ranks as the top focus area around the world other than in Asia, where the environment leads the list
“The Cause” followed by “Achieving a Sustainable Outcome” and “The Need on the Ground” are the three greatest factors that influence giving.
The top three outcomes sought by philanthropists are: a sustainable program, eradicating the problem (e.g. curing a disease), and a self-sustaining program (e.g. teaching skills or entrepreneurship).
Individual philanthropists routinely rely on outside resources when making decisions:
- Family/relatives 59%
- Peer exchanges 58%
- Online research 58%
- Philanthropy advisors 57%
- External experts in the area of focus 57%
A majority of individual donors worldwide (57%) say achieving sustainable results is easier when working with philanthropic advisors. Asians rank the role of an advisor as most important. American and Middle Eastern philanthropists a little less so.
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