Survey shows U.S. ranks No. 5 in charitable giving out of 153 countries
A survey that measures charitable giving showed recently that the U.S. ties with Switzerland for fifth place overall, out of 153 countries representing 95 percent of the world’s population.
The survey, World Giving Index 2010, was released by Charities Aid Foundation America. It is the first of its kind to measure charitable behavior on such a large scale, including countries that had not been represented in previous surveys measuring giving, the Investment Advisor said.
The report amassed data from the current international Gallup survey, and graded countries in three categories. First, the percentage population that gave to a charity (Malta placed first at 83 percent). Second, the percentage population that volunteered time to an organization (Turkmenistan placed first at 61 percent). Third, the percentage population that lent a hand to a stranger (Liberia placed first at 76 percent), Investment Advisor reported.
A country’s overall score was determined by adding the percentages of all three categories, then dividing the number by three. In the case of the U.S., 60 percent donated to charity, 39 percent gave their time freely as volunteers, and 65 percent said they would help a stranger, according to Investment Advisor.
Topping the index overall were New Zealand and Australia (tied at No. 1) followed by Canada and Ireland (tied at No. 3). After the U.S. and Switzerland the countries that follow are Netherlands (No. 8), then the U.K. and Sri Lanka (tied at No. 8), then Austria (No. 10) the CAFAmerica survey showed.
The study also measured happiness and wealth in terms of giving noting, “the level of satisfaction or happiness of the population is emerging as a key driver for increasing the giving of money… Happier people are more likely to give than wealthy people,” the CAFAmerica survey said.
Happiness was measured on a scale of one to 10. The country with the highest happiness level was Denmark at No. 8, while the U.S. ranked well with a happiness scale of 7.2, the CAFAmerica survey showed.
The bottom five places in charitable giving, the survey showed, were the following countries: China, Lithuania and Greece (tied at no. 147), Serbia and the Ukraine (tied at 150), Burundi (No. 152) and Madagascar (No. 153), according to the CAFAmerica survey.
In a statement, Janet Boyd, president of CAFAmerica said, “This survey highlights the need to engage workers in volunteering via the corporate sector, young people by new social media channels, and older Americans by means that are both comfortable and familiar to them. In my view, no one should take a critical view of the U.S. fifth place rank in this report for a variety of reasons, but that also does not mean that we should be complacent as a nation when there is so much more that can be done,” the Investment Advisor reported.
CAFAmerica started in 1992 and is a member of the U.K.-based Charities Aid Foundation International. Together with the CAF American Donor Fund, CAFAmerica has raised over $40 million in charity for some 76 nations, according to Investment Advisor.