In the last 12 months, nearly 72% of Indian adults gave money to a good cause. This means that hundreds of millions of Indian people donated to a charity, religious organisation or sponsored someone.
That’s according to the India Giving report 2019, a study of how Indians interact with charity published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
However, despite the fact that so many Indians donated to a cause they care about, the report finds that fewer people in this year’s survey took part in charitable activities in general –including donating money, volunteering and giving away food or goods.
Around eight in ten (82%) said that they did so last year*, down from 87% in 2017. Participation in these activities in the last four weeks* has seen a similar decrease, from 75% in 2017 to 69%.
Other key findings of the research include:
- Helping the poor was the most popular cause for Indians to have donated to (55%), followed by supporting religious organisations (53%) and supporting ill and disadvantaged children (52%)
- The median amount donated or sponsored in the last year* was 5,000 rupees, remaining consistent since 2017
- Giving using cash was the most popular method of donation (68%)
- Half of Indians (52%) have volunteered in the last year*, with supporting children being the most popular cause (52% of volunteers), followed by helping the poor (45%) and supporting religious organisations (41%)
- Eight in ten (81%) believe that charities have had a positive impact on their local communities, 76% on India as a whole, while 71% said they have had a positive impact internationally. Those on higher household incomes feel more positively about the impact of charities
The most common reason for donating was because it made the donor feel good (56%), followed by believing that we all need to help solve social problems (42%) and because they care about the cause (40%).
Indian people also gave clear answers on what would encourage them to give more money, time or goods to charity. The most popular improvement would be knowing for sure how their money would be spent (38%), more transparency in the non-profit /charity sector (32%) and having more disposable income (30%).
Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive of CAF India, said, “India has again proven itself to be a generous country, with a majority of the population either donating money or volunteering to help out those less fortunate in our society.
However, it is incumbent upon all of us in Indian civil society to be as transparent and effective as possible, to encourage even greater participation amongst the public. It’s also interesting to see 30% of Indians saying that having more money would make them likelier to give to good causes. As our middle class continues to grow, this bodes well for the future health of the Indian charity sector.”