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Across the globe, philanthropy takes on meanings and methods as varied as the myriads of cultures we have. Benevolence is determined by societal norms and political influences more than wealth. By understanding worldwide philanthropy trends and underlying forces, charities can reach out to heretofore untapped potential sources of support.

The Charities Aid Foundation provides an invaluable source of information here. This organization collaborates with Gallup to produce the annual World Giving Index. While wealthier countries are becoming less generous, developing nations have increased philanthropic efforts in recent years. Researchers Pamela Wiepking and Femida Handy, authors of the Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy, examined the eleemosynary cultures of over 25 countries and the mechanisms that determine how philanthropy thrives more in some countries than others. Wiepking and Handy discovered eight factors that underpin the success of charitable work within a country:


  • Countries where private benevolence is viewed as a primary social solution cultivate more generosity. Nations with rigid social welfare infrastructures are not as giving. Additionally, altruism is more prevalent in countries where open discussion about charity is more common.
  • Philanthropy thrives in countries where people place a high level of trust charitable organizations.
  • Countries that enforce clear (but not repressive) regulations regarding charities are more generous.
  • Countries that offer benefits for almsgiving such as tax deductions encourage greater benefaction. Further, a country‚Äôs citizens are more inclined to give where expert financial advice regarding charities is more accessible.
  • Charitable giving is stronger in countries that have well-established, robust humanitarian organizations.
  • Democratic and capitalist countries are more benevolent.
  • The more generous populations are more educated, more religious, older, and wealthier.
  • Goodwill efforts thrive where money flows more easily to a country.


Any charity anywhere in the world can further its cause by utilizing insight into global charitable trends and:


  • Analyzing the donor base demographics and expanding prospects to other cultural groups.
  • Increasing transparency to gain trust and connect donors with their impact.
  • Promote dialogue about the charity by plugging in to social media to encourage conversation and share testimonials.

Although culture and politics influence giving, philanthropy can blossom anywhere if a charity clearly conveys its mission. Increasing the influence of humanitarian efforts calls for maximizing opportunities to inspire others with the vision. Recognizing areas around the world where generosity abounds, charities can channel efforts toward connecting more giving people with your cause.