Charity in 4 modern Asian countries

Here is a study on 4 modern Asian countries and charity, which all happen to have different religions: India (Hindu), Thailand (Buddhist), Indonesia (Muslim), and the Philippines (Christian). [See my posts on the history of Asian charitycontemporary global charity, and religiosity and charity]

“Asian Philanthropy: A Four-Country Study” (2002)

Perhaps the most important finding is that in all four countries, almost allhigh to middle income households made philanthropic gifts in the preceding twelve months.


Another similarity between all four countrie s is their uniformly high rate of giving to religious organisations.

Even when expressed in PPP, Indians in SES classes A and B give far smaller amounts than do Indonesians, while Thais and Filipinos are far in front of both (in that order).

The generosity ratio shows a similar pattern to the other data. High and middle income Indians are not as generous as people from similar social strata in the three Southeast Asian countries. Indonesians, however, turn out to be marginally more generous than Filipinos, while the apparent benevolent bent of Thais is shown to be less dramatic than the PPP measures suggest.

Indians give the highest proportion to religion, followed by
Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand least, less than half the proportion given by Indians. When we look at giving to other voluntary organisations, India is a particularly marked exception. This is true not only in amounts given, but in the numbers who give (the giving rate). For the three countries in Southeast Asia, the giving rate is very high, as high as or higher than in Northern countries. But in India the giving rate is dramatically lower than the other three. Putting it another way – barely half of the high to middle income Indians in our sample support other voluntary organisations. Or, to put it in a third way, almost one half of Indians from this socia l stratum that support religious
organisations, do not support other voluntary organisations.

Except for India, there are relatively few people who do not give at all. The most fruitful approach in those countries will be to increase the amount given by those who already give. In India there are many who give to religious organisations but do not give to other voluntary organisations.

2 thoughts on “Charity in 4 modern Asian countries

  1. Pingback: World Giving Index | unsafe harbour

  2. Pingback: Religiosity and charity | unsafe harbour

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