The 2015 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index report reveals that philanthropy is growing worldwide, increasing by five points on a 100-point scale in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.
This is the third edition of the index, and it shows that impact/mission investing is seen as the most promising trend in philanthropy, with collaborative efforts also being strongly supported—in fact, many respondents said they rely heavily on both family and financial advisors to make the best decisions about their charitable giving.
Philanthropists are also embracing technology, particularly social media (42%), crowd evaluation (42%), and crowdfunding (41%).
The areas of highest interest currently are health (prioritized by about 65% of the survey respondents), environmental charities (52%), and education (44%).
Reasons behind philanthropists’ decision to give varied by region but generally came down to a sense of duty, a desire to give back to society, and wanting to help others. In the Middle East, religious beliefs were also a significant driver.
One reason for the increase in charitable giving could be the slowly recovering global economy. This is particularly true of Europe, which rose 9.2 points from 2014 to rank nearly even with the United States in terms of the amount of projected and actual giving.
However, the economy isn’t necessarily the only reason for the increased generosity. Oxfam International’s Acting Head of Income Development, Suzi Faye, said that in fact, people are often more generous when times are hard. She suggested this may have to do with the nature of Oxfam’s affiliates.