Lilly Family School of Philanthropy report highlights data, insights on international giving to help NGOs, policymakers address global issues
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI today released the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker (GPT), the 11th edition of this unique index that offers a comprehensive picture of the scale and scope of worldwide cross-border philanthropy.
Representing data from 47 countries at all stages of economic development, the GPT measures cross-border charitable giving and examines how philanthropy enables and enhances efforts to address complex challenges – from poverty, food insecurity, health, climate change to racial injustice to inequality facing women and girls. The GPT is a critical tool that bridges the gap between the increasing need for philanthropy and the lack of available data insights about the scope of cross-border giving.
The report also compares cross-border philanthropy to three other cross-border financial resource flows, including official development assistance (ODA), private capital investment, and remittances. The GPT demonstrates how civil society, government, business, and individuals collaborate to find sustainable solutions for societal issues around the globe.
“The Global Philanthropy Tracker provides a holistic picture of the global community that is rarely depicted publicly. Private capital investment represents the role of financial markets, ODA is from the government, remittances are from family, and philanthropy is about helping strangers,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “These are the resource-based bonds we form across borders to address problems and support people beyond our own countries. The 2023 GPT’s findings reflect the enduring commitment to helping others that is a foundational element of all cultures around the world.”
Reliability of philanthropy during turbulent times
The GPT shares insights from 47 countries, representing 22% of all economies worldwide, including 61% of the global population and 85% of the global GDP in 2020.
- The 47 countries included in the latest GPT contributed $70 billion (USD) in philanthropic giving in 2020 (the latest year for which data is available for most of the countries).
- Global cross-border philanthropic giving is roughly equivalent to the 73rd largest economy in the world, by 2020 GDP.
- The $70 billion in philanthropy represents 8% of total cross-border financial resource flows, which include official development assistance, private capital investment, and remittances and philanthropic giving.
- Philanthropy showed resilience during the crises of 2020, such as COVID-19, with only a 0.5% decline in overall giving since 2018. The three other cross-border resource flows detailed in the report varied in terms of how the pandemic impacted them.
- Remittances saw a large increase (19%) in 2020 as migrants sent more money back home to support their families during the pandemic.
- Private capital investment experienced a severe decline (100%) as the global economy was hit hard by the pandemic.
- Official development assistance remained at similar levels in 2018 and 2020, decreasing by just 1%.
- About 60% of the 47 countries had updated data on philanthropic outflows that are directly comparable to their data from 2018. Among this subgroup of countries, philanthropic outflows went up modestly by around 4%, although the change varied greatly by country.
- Education and health were the most frequently cited causes receiving philanthropic support, based on a subgroup of countries with available data.
- Africa was the region cited most frequently as a top recipient of philanthropic support, according to countries that reported data on recipient countries or regions.
“Global philanthropy proved its resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic by adjusting to the new normal of economic shocks and uncertainty,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Remittances saw a large increase (19%) in 2020 as migrants sent more money back home to support their families during the pandemic. We have also witnessed the role that both philanthropy and remittances can play in addressing urgent needs and challenges in communities. NGOs, policymakers and other leaders can apply the insights gained from global giving during this crisis to support local and regional actors working for social change.”
Increased need to develop and adopt mechanisms supporting global philanthropy
The 2023 GPT identifies three opportunities for the international community to reimagine the role of philanthropy in sustainable development. By leveraging the lessons learned, leaders can respond appropriately to current and future challenges. The GPT report offers the following ideas based on the research:
- Development of global standards for data tracking and promotion of data transparency: As charitable causes – such as climate change, racial justice, and equality for women and girls – gain more attention, countries that adopt common standards for data tracking, sharing and transparency could be better positioned to advance these causes in partnership with the global philanthropic sector. Better data will inform better policy- and decision-making.
- Strengthening the role of local philanthropic organizations: The increasing number of natural and human-made disasters highlights the need for an improved ecosystem for cross-border philanthropy, especially through local grassroots organizations and their leadership which are often the first responders in times of crises. Regional and global actors can engage with local philanthropic organizations to strengthen their capacity and connect them with international donors to help enhance equity and cultural awareness in giving.
- Enabling innovation in cross-border philanthropy: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated new ways of cross-border giving when traditional methods weren’t accessible. Technology-enabled forms of giving like crowdfunding and inclusive global funds like the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund provided new ways of giving to a wide variety of donors, from everyday donors to international companies. Encouraging local, regional and global philanthropic actors to continue innovating and adopting new vehicles for giving can help ensure that philanthropic funds flow to local communities in a more efficient manner.
Read the full report, download the infographic, and learn more about the GPT and the Global Indices.
About the Global Indices
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI researches and publishes the Global Philanthropy Indices. The Global Philanthropy Environment Index maps the global philanthropic ecosystem, while the Global Philanthropy Tracker provides data insights on the scale and scope of cross-border philanthropy. The two reports were developed and published for more than 10 years by Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity until their transfer to the school in 2017. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy adapted the indices to provide an inclusive dataset on global philanthropy and to engage the growing numbers of scholars, policy makers, and practitioners interested in global philanthropy. The Global Philanthropy Indices offer crucial insights to NGOs, policy makers, and corporate and foundation leaders on the environment and state of global philanthropy.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its undergraduate, graduate, certificate and professional development programs, its research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram and “Like” us on Facebook.