The UK is now just the 22nd most generous country in the world following the coronavirus pandemic, a major study has revealed.
The UK was placed sixth in the 2018 edition of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index, but the organisation says social distancing restrictions had reduced the nation’s ability to give.
The research – which involves 114 countries from across the globe – reveals that Indonesia is now ranked as the number one most generous country in the world – receiving a score of 69 per cent.
Kenya came in second place at 58 per cent, followed by Nigeria (52 per cent), Myanmar (51 per cent) and Australia (49 per cent).
But the UK’s overall score fell from 55 per cent in 2018 to just 41 per cent in 2021 – meaning it places just 22nd in the global rankings leader board. While the study shows that the UK remains in the top 10 countries for donations, there was a considerable drop in the number of people who say they had “assisted a stranger” or volunteered for a charity.
The impact of the pandemic was also felt across the rest of the world, with the USA falling to 19th place, while Ireland fell to 26th.
The scores were calculated by asking a representative sample of people in each country about charitable giving, such as if they had donated to a charity, volunteered, or helped a stranger in the last year.
Commenting on the findings, Neil Heslop, chief executive of CAF, said the pandemic had hindered people’s ability to support not-for-profit organisations.
“This year’s World Giving Index makes for sombre reading as it lays bare the lost potential to support charities that was the result of the UK’s lockdowns.
“We know that lockdowns saved lives and protected the NHS, but for the thousands of charities that rely on fundraising events, on spontaneous cash donations and on an army of volunteers, the shuttering of the economy has left a black hole in their finances.
“It is time now, as we begin to recover, to put that right and we will do our part to help get vital funds to charities so that they are able to not just survive, but thrive once again.”
The study comes as recent statistics suggest that charities are facing a funding gap – defined as the amount of funding charities need and what funding they actually receive – of £10 billion.
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert charity finance and accounting team today.