15September

Summary of the latest CAF World giving Index

Gill Bates, the chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Southern Africa, reports that the 2017 CAF World Giving Index shows that that in trying times, South Africans still tried to help where they could. “There is a new surge of energy on the continent and in South Africa, within the philanthropy, development and corporate social investment space, which is exciting to see,” says Bates.

Summary of the latest CAF World giving Index

The annual CAF World Giving Index looks at how and why people around the world give to charity. It’s compiled from data from 139 countries, representing 95% of the world’s population. The report includes questions about three different types of giving behaviour --  helping a stranger, donating money, volunteering time -- and ranks each country accordingly.


Key findings:

  •   Every Western country in the top 20 has a decreased score this year.

  •   For the second year running, Africa sees an increase in all three giving behaviours, compared to its five year average.

  •   South Africa ranked as the 24th most charitable country in the world, and the 7th most charitable country in Africa.

  •   South Africans were rated as very charitable in the categories of ‘helping a stranger’ and ‘volunteering time’, but relatively weak in that of ‘donating money’.

  •   Overall, African countries were rated higher in 2016 than in 2015.

  • . During 2016, every continent scored lower than the previous year with the exception of Africa.

  •  The proportion of people across the globe engaging in helping a stranger, donating money or volunteering decreased in 2016. 


The Index often confounds assumptions about the link between wealth and generosity and this year only six members of the G20 appear in the list of top 20 countries. You can download the 2017 CAF World Giving Index for free from the CAF website.