India Takes Giant Leap to Rank 14 in World Giving Index 2021

According to the Index, 61% of Indians helped strangers; 34% volunteered, and 36% donated money

India Takes Giant Leap to Rank 14 in World Giving Index 2021
India Takes Giant leap to Rank 14 in World Giving Index 2021
OLM Desk - 15 June 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended giving trends across the world as per Charities Aid Foundation’s (CAF) World Giving Index (WGI) 2021. Several Western economies have slipped down the Index due to Covid-related lockdowns. Despite the state-level restrictions India ranked 14th which Is several notches up from its 10-year average rank of 82 --published in a special 10-year anniversary edition in 2019.

According to WGI 2021, India has consistently been working its way up from 2017, when it was ranked 124. In the years 2018 and 2019, India ranked 51 and 19 respectively.

“This report comes at a time when India is reeling under a severe Covid wave. And it is commendable to see India perform well on the Index. It gives a lot of hope to see that people are generously contributing money and time to various causes --especially Covid relief,” Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive of CAF India said.

The WGI is a global survey, which has interviewed more than 1.6 million people since 2009 and asks each of the three questions: have they helped a stranger, given money, or volunteered for a good cause over the past month? This year, Indonesia has topped the index, followed by Kenya and Nigeria. Ranked at 14, India is one of the fastest climbers.

India’s performance on the Index:

WGI Rank

WGI Score

Helping a stranger (rank)

Helping a stranger (score)

Donating Money (rank)

Donating Money (score)

Volunteering Time (rank)

Volunteering Time (score)








34 %

‘Last year during the nationwide lockdown, migrant workers from across India made a beeline for their villages, on foot, battling hunger and heat. But last year also saw many individuals, volunteers, NGOs, RWAs, spiritual and other community institutions, such as Gurdwaras coming out to help them. About 61 per cent of Indians helped strangers last year. Similarly, when it comes to volunteering, India ranks six, which means that last year, despite the lockdown, 34 per cent of Indians volunteered their time,” explained Batra.

According to the report, last year about 36 per cent of people donated money to charities/ non-profits, which is one percent less than in 2019.

This year’s survey highlights the impact of lockdowns on charitable giving, like the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the Netherlands -- all fell out of the highest rankings. Only Australia and New Zealand, where the survey was undertaken in the weeks before the first wave of the pandemic took hold, maintained their top 10 rankings.

More than half (55 per cent) of the world’s adults or 3 billion people reported helping someone they didn’t know in 2020.

More people donated money in 2020 than had done so in the last five years (31 per cent). Levels of volunteering in 2020 are broadly unchanged at the global level.