AS India and the world continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has a role to play – government at all levels, civil society, philanthropies, multinational organisations, the private sector and, most importantly, us – individuals. In this context, we undertook a survey targeted at individuals to understand India’s giving quotient; to gauge the response to the urgency of need that the pandemic has created from donors and supporters – and what effect it has had on their charitable giving behaviour.
With close to 450 respondents, a key insight that emerged from the data is that India’s appetite for giving has radically increased during the coronavirus crisis, with 85% of those surveyed conveying a heightened desire to donate or give back. Only 12% said they would have to reduce their charitable giving in these difficult times. 40% of those wanting to give back opted to volunteer their time.
The survey further shared insights on what drives people to give and what deters. Donors are more likely to give when they feel that their donation will make a difference while also considering other factors like cost, benefit and the credibility of the platform on which they are making the donation.
Nearly 74% of the respondents will contribute to nonprofit organisations that maintain transparency in how their money is being channelised – ambiguity of how the funds are being used is a real turn-off. Geographic location of the communities benefiting from their charitable giving is as important – 74% preferring local or national charities. Interestingly, less than 1% of donors are inspired by celebrity endorsements. Popular causes like education (71%), disaster management (62%) and health (55%) remain among the top purposes for charitable giving.
The survey also concluded that the desire to give back is often triggered when “one has a clear understanding of the objective of the charity” – in other words, people are more likely to donate (44%) when they are aware if their money, time or, for that matter emotion, are really going to help someone in need. But 27% felt that “we have an obligation to give back”.
When asked about the reasons behind their charitable giving, 49% said they do so out of the desire to help others in need, 20% give back because it brings meaning to their lives, and 17% because it makes them “feel good” or are emotionally moved by someone’s story.
At GiveIndia, we have been witness to this increased desire to give back to society and are humbled by it. This one finding shines like a candle in the darkness that the pandemic has created in everyone’s lives.