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December 19, 2013
Times of India
Lubna Kably


Indians are large-hearted when it comes to contributing to charity, volunteering time or helping strangers.

Twenty-four crore Indians donated money to charity in a typical month in 2012, more than any other people in the world, revealed the World Giving Index 2013 report. Those in the US came in second (15 crore) and the Chinese third (11 crore).

The 2012 figures were an improvement on 2011, when 16 crore Indians had dipped into their pockets.

The report, sub-titled 'A global view of giving trends' and released recently by the UK-headquartered Charities Aid Foundation, is based on surveys conducted in 135 countries during 2012.

India also led the charts in terms of the number of people volunteering. While in 2011, 10% of the Indian population had volunteered time, in 2012, the number went up to 18%, that is, 16 crore, surpassing the US which came in second with 11.5 crore.

While China topped the ranks in terms of the number of people helping strangers in a typical month (37.3 crore), India came in second, with 26 crore people extending assistance to people they didn't know.

However, India's vast population may have helped it beat other countries. For, while India is a top-ranking country in terms of the sheer number of people participating in acts of generosity, in terms of percentages (the number of people vis-a-vis the total population of that country), India's overall rank on the Index is 93 (with a percentile score of 25%). The US is ranked first, with a percentile score of 61%. Three countries— Canada, Myanmar and New Zealand—tie for second place with a percentile score of 58%.

Traditionally, India has largely believed in non-institutional giving, that is, reaching out to beneficiaries directly rather than donating to NGOs. Meenakshi Batra, chief executive, Charities Aid Foundation (India), said: "Our experience in India shows donors today are enthused to give consistently to NGOs as they find them professional in their approach with a structured outreach to community needs. Thus, increasingly NGOs are being suppo
rted and additionally, there is a good amount of interest in developing long-term associations with NGOs via volunteering and in many other interesting ways. These emerging trends have been captured in the Index."

  Statistics given by GiveIndia, an online donation portal, show an increase in donations. During 2012-13, for the first time in 13 years, donations channelled via GiveIndia crossed the Rs 30 crore landmark. At Rs 31.28 crore, this was an increase of 51% compared to donation figures for 2010-11. Contributions to NGOs by high net worth individuals grew over 60% from Rs 6.21 crore in 2011-12 to over Rs 10 crore in 2012-13.

"We believe Indians to be a giving community. They just need m
ore credible and transparent avenues to give and their purse-strings will open," said Dhaval Udani, CEO, Give India. "We are continuing to see strong growth in giving this year. In the first six months of this fiscal, giving increased by 33% overall, with each of our segments—Payroll Giving, Online & Retail Giving and HNI giving—showing growth of more than 20%."

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