With $68 billion in cross-border philanthropy, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy study highlights crucial role of giving in response to COVID-19, other crises
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI today released the 2020 Global Philanthropy Tracker (GPT), the first such report since 2016. With data from 47 countries and economies across the globe, it is the world’s most holistic measure of the scope and magnitude of cross-border philanthropy. The GPT also compares cross-border philanthropy to three other cross-border financial resource flows, including official development assistance (ODA) from government, private capital investment, and remittances.
In total, those three private sources contributed a combined $658 billion in 2018, nearly four times the amount of ODA, the study finds. The 47 economies included in the report represented 62% of world population, 85% of global gross domestic product (GDP), and 22% of all economies in the world in 2018.
By tracking private philanthropy and other resource flows in FY 2018, the 2020 GPT highlights the significant and growing role of private philanthropy and other private sources of funding and investments in addressing global challenges ranging from education to poverty, public health and COVID-19, and the effects of climate change, among many others. With $68 billion in cross-border charitable giving alone, the GPT finds that private philanthropy—giving from foundations, corporations, and individuals—is roughly equivalent to the 74th largest economy in the world by 2018 GDP.
The findings of the 2020 GPT also suggest a growing role for new philanthropic actors and investment mechanisms to contribute to global development.
“From the public health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic to the growing pressure of climate change, the scope of global challenges is expanding and becoming significantly more complex,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., professor of economics and associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “And that means NGO leaders and philanthropists need significantly more data about how limited global resources are being applied to address acute challenges. The GPT and its findings are critical as we consider how philanthropy and trends in giving can be most effective in building on private capital investments, remittances, and official development assistance.”
While high-income countries contributed the vast majority of cross-border philanthropy, the 2020 GPT also found significant cross-border giving from middle- and lower-income countries, particularly among those with a strong philanthropic environment.
“Taken together, the Global Philanthropy Tracker and our Global Philanthropy Environment Index provide a comprehensive view of the state of philanthropy globally,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. “By both analyzing the philanthropic environment in nations across the globe and tracking the flow of philanthropic resources between economies, we can identify trends in giving that equip policymakers, private investors, philanthropy leaders and NGOs to prioritize and maximize the impact of initiatives aimed at addressing our most pressing challenges.”
Growing Role for New Actors and Mechanisms
By capturing publicly available data about the sources and mechanisms of private philanthropy, the GPT suggests three key trends likely to contribute to philanthropy’s growing role in the international arena.
• An expanding global middle class and an increase in high net worth individuals will continue to drive enhanced engagement in cross-border philanthropy. The past decade has marked the fastest ever growth in the global middle class, and spending by the global middle class is expected to double by 2030.
• Global migration patterns suggest that diaspora philanthropy and remittances will shape the future of cross-border philanthropy as more people are likely to—temporarily or permanently—be part of diaspora communities. Diaspora philanthropy is giving by migrants for communities in the country of origin beyond family members. Three-quarters of remittances captured by the 2020 GPT went to low- and middle-income countries, with 96% of those resources originating from migrant communities in high-income countries.
• The continued rapid advancement of technology will make cross-border giving easier, faster and safer. In many high-income economies, online platforms and crowdfunding have continued to expand, while the adoption of similar technology in upper- and lower-middle income economies is helping to improve donor participation in nations where philanthropy is less institutionalized. New digital methods, such as online giving, social media, and crowdfunding platforms, are specifically identified as one of the key future trends for cross-border philanthropy in more than one-third (18) of the 47 economies included in the 2020 GPT.
Just 20% of Countries and Economies Have Data on Cross-Border Giving
Although the availability of data has increased since the 2016 publication of the GPT’s predecessor – the Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances – the 2020 GPT also demonstrates a pressing need for more robust data about global giving. Just one in five economies globally have aggregate data on giving across borders, and there exists no universal definition or framework for tracking or reporting data on philanthropy across economies.
Philanthropy leaders also currently have incomplete access to information about where funding is specifically deployed to help the most vulnerable – and where gaps exist. Only 18 economies have information on the specific types of charitable causes (such as education, health or poverty) supported by cross-border philanthropy. Among the 47 economies studied, just 16 had information on the recipient regions of their cross-border philanthropy.
“We have more data now than ever before,” added Osili. “But the 2020 GPT also reveals how much more effective the global community could be if we had even more complete and timely data about things like types of donors and how funds are used. Building on this year as a baseline, we hope to encourage NGOs, governments and philanthropic funders to provide even more robust data that would help us build an even stronger GPT framework and equip leaders globally to prioritize the most critical philanthropic work.”
NOTES TO EDITORS: Additional Resources and Methodology
The full report, executive summary, video, and other related resources are available at https://globalindices.iupui.edu/tracker/downloads/index.html.
Drawing on information from public sources, a special survey of data availability, and information from research partners around the world, the 2020 GPT report provides new baseline data on cross-border philanthropy and expands the scope of the study. Fourteen economies are new additions since the 2016 report.
In collaboration with our research partners, the 2020 GPT also includes individual country reports providing qualitative narrative descriptions that explain how generosity is expressed and encouraged in various countries. For 18 countries, research partners developed a detailed narrative report, which provides clear insights on giving and receiving across national borders at the national level. For an additional 32 countries, a short summary on cross-border philanthropy developed by the school is also available.
This report also presents the key results of the first-ever Data Availability Questionnaire, an international survey on the legal environment and data availability of cross-border philanthropy. Research partners provided valuable, unique information to contribute to a deeper understanding of data availability on cross-border philanthropy worldwide.
About the Global Indices
For over 10 years, the Hudson Institute provided in-depth research on philanthropy around the world with its Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances, and research on incentives and barriers to global giving through its Index of Philanthropic Freedom, which began in 2013. In 2017, these indices were formally transferred to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, which is strengthening and expanding the scope of the research and advancing the methodological innovation of these global studies. The school now publishes them under the new titles the Global Philanthropy Tracker and the Global Philanthropy Environment Index (first published in 2018). Under this new banner, 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 academic, 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.