Indians donated Rs 23,700 crore in cash between October 2020 and September 2021, a new survey on household givings has found, with the lion’s share — 64%— going to religious organisations.
The report, titled “How India Gives 2020-21’’, was released by the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP), Ashoka University, on Monday.
The findings show that while most Indians prefer cash over kind for donations, urban India donates more in quantum than the country’s rural areas, which account for a higher number of donations.
Overall, the report says, the highest number of donations were made by the middle-class and the lower-income households.
The findings are based on a survey of 81,000 households across 18 states, over telephone or in person.
The findings show that, spurred by religious belief and “family tradition’’, Indians give mostly to religious organisations — an estimated total of Rs 16,600 crore in cash, constituting 70% of the market share.
The survey period coincided with the peak Covid period. However, according to the report, only 15% of the total 5% households that donated Rs 1,100 crore to “non-religious organisations” cited Covid as the motivation.
Instead, beggars were the preferred recipients, receiving cash donations totaling Rs 2,900 thousand crore, an estimated market share of 12%.
“Family and friends’ came next, receiving Rs 2,000 crore, a market share of 9%.
Giving to household staff makes up the tail-end of the distribution, with 4% and Rs 1,000 crore.
CSIP Research Director and the report’s lead author Swati Shresth said it is difficult to gauge whether the trend in donations was a year-on-year norm “as such an extensive survey on donations has so far not been carried out”.
“The findings of this study will form the baseline as we continue to carry out the survey on a year-to-year basis to understand the trends of donations in the country,” she said. “What was surprising to me personally is that I had expected Covid 19 to be a driving force in donations in this particular study period – which was not the case.’’
MOST DONATIONS IN COUNTRY’S EAST
According to the study, while men and women have equal say in donations, males tend to donate to religious organisations and family and friends. Women tend to donate to beggars and the household staff.
Among regions – eastern India has reported the highest incidence of donation at 96%, followed by northern India at 94%.
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While in the north, the incidence of giving to ‘non-religious organisations’ and ‘household staff’ was the lowest — at 2% —, it was more prevalent in south and east India, and in urban areas. Households in the higher-income groups also donated more to non-religious causes.
Of the donations to ‘non-religious organisations’, the study says, 51% was received by NGOs, trusts, foundations, and schools; followed by PM CARES, CM CARES and UNICEF.