Global trends in charitable giving — one step forward and two steps back

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For the latest annual CIVICUS report on the state of civil society, Adam Pickering (Charities Aid Foundation) compares positive and negative trends in global giving following the latest World Giving Index:

2014 was a mixed year in the global environment for charitable giving. Rapidly rising engagement in charitable activities in some transitioning and developing economies raised hopes of a global surge in private donations to civil society organisations (CSOs). However, a tide of regressive laws that limit the financial and operational independence of CSOs risks choking the growth of a global culture of giving.

In producing the World Giving Index (WGI), The Charities Aid Foundation’s annual report tracking participation in charitable activities around the world, we have noted a slight overall decline in the proportion of people giving money to CSOs. However, when we look only at transitional economies, we see an increase. The generosity of a new generation of
young, middle class donors in fast growing economies has the potential to plug the gaps left by changing patterns in Official Development Assistance (ODA). But if current trends for government interference through politicised regulation, the choking of advocacy and campaigning, and the raising of barriers to foreign funding are not addressed, we may look back at the current period as a time of missed opportunity. Continue reading (PDF).

These 27 guest contributions commissioned by CIVICUS for the State of Civil Society Report 2015 focus on civil society resourcing. The guest inputs discuss a range of funding issues encountered by civil society organisations and activists, including official development assistance and other forms of support from governments, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and non-financial resources.

Adam Pickering is the International Policy Manager of Charities Aid Foundation. Download the full report from the WINGS Knowledge Center.

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