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Data shows philanthropy comes in all forms

Written on Aug 18, 2023

Donors who write checks have been dwindling, at least in the United States, but numbers from GivingTuesday Data Commons show that 83.6% of people in seven regions of the world donated to others one way or another during 2022. 

Some people donated their time. Some gave things they owned. Some gave their voices, advocating on behalf of a cause. Some gave money. “Remarkably, all over the world, most people (56%) gave in at least three of those ways,” according to authors of the new report Rethinking Resilience: Insights From The Giving Ecosystem. The report offers a look back at trends in global generosity during 2022. 

  • Nearly six in ten – 57% – of people tracked gave to all three recipient types monitored – formal charities, informal groups and individuals. Other revelations in the report include: 

  • Younger generations everywhere were more generous than older generations during 2022, giving more often and in more ways. Older generations still donate more dollars in some countries, but in others it is younger generations who are the most financially generous. 

  • There was a reduction in large donor results during the fourth quarter of 2022. Large donors are historically more responsive to economic downturns and the end of 2022 saw notable stock market declines. 

  • Within the United States, both donors and dollars were down in 2022, a situation not seen since 2010. 

Data for the report came from the United States, Canada, the UK, Mexico, Brazil, India and Kenya. The UK data includes multiple nations. The researchers tracked acts of generosity including: any generosity, money, things/items, volunteerism, advocacy in some form, to formal nonprofits, to other organizations and to individuals. 

Kenya topped the list of people who gave during 2022 in any of the above categories at 98%, followed by India at 92%, Brazil at 85%, Mexico 79%, Canada 79%, the United Kingdom 77%, and the United States at 75%.  

Giving behaviors are also culturally dependent, with radically different giving ecosystems found in various places. In every country where people were surveyed, the vast majority donated through both formal and informal channels. The wealthiest countries had a significantly greater reliance on formal giving channels. Small donors were less responsive to economic shifts. 

Kenyans and Indians volunteer at twice the rate of people in Europe and North America, though in all countries volunteering happens more often in unstructured community settings than in formal organizational ones, the data showed. 

Within both Brazil and Mexico, the most active donors of money to registered charities are the youngest generation, Gen-Z (individuals born roughly between 1997 and 2012). A lot has to do with who is asked based on generational customs in those nations, the researchers found. 

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