U.S. Now #1 in Charitable Giving

The United States now ranks the highest in terms of charity in a massive global survey that put the nation in fifth place in 2010, according to CAFAmerica, a member organization of the United Kingdom based Charities Aid Foundation International Network of Offices.

According to those surveyed, two out of three Americans said they donated money to charity (65 percent), more than two out of five volunteered their time (43 percent) and roughly three out of four helped a stranger (73 percent).

The new “World Giving Index (WGI) 2011” report is based on over 150,000 Gallup polling interviews with members of the public in 153 countries. The 2011 report looks at three aspects of giving behavior of individuals in the preceding month, asking if they have donated money to a charity, volunteered time to an organization, or helped a stranger.

The top-ranked U.S. was followed in the survey by Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom rounding out the top five. The four new countries in the top 20 compared to the 2010 WGI report are Thailand, Morocco, Nigeria and Liberia. Of these, Liberia has enjoyed the biggest rise from 39th to 14th place, although Morocco’s increase from 33rd to 12th is equally notable. Other major shifts in the rankings include the rise of the United Kingdom from eighth to fifth, and Thailand’s neighbor Laos moving to tenth place.

As the World Giving Report 2011 states: “The USA had been ranked fifth in 2010, and has risen to first this year. It has shown a steady increase in each of the three measures over the past year, ranging from four percentage points ‘volunteering time’ and to eight percentage points ‘helping a stranger’. It is this even progress across all three measures that has caused the country to rise to the top of the Index.”

Charities Aid Foundation Director of Research Richard Harrison said: “This research confirms that when we look at giving in a rounded way, including the extent to which we volunteer and help strangers, America is the most generous country in the world. America is the only country that ranks in the Top 10 globally on each of these three perspectives and this 1st place ranking should be seen as source of real pride for people across America.”

Harrison added: “This research also shows that worldwide, more people are giving than was shown in 2010. This is a very positive and heart-warming insight into how the global community is responding to the economic and social turmoil. However at the global level, only two of the three measures have increased; the challenging news is that the proportion of people giving money to charity fell. This is worrying as falling donations mean less aid during disasters, less access to clean water, good hygiene and decent housing, and a reduced capacity to care for the most vulnerable in society. It is important for America and for the global community that Americans who can afford to give, do continue to give”.

The full World Giving Index Report 2011 is available online at CAFAmerica.org.