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Nexus’s Global Campaign for a Culture of Philanthropy (GCCP) endeavors to shift the culture of philanthropy to an aligned and impactful practice by establishing and applying standards for the practice of philanthropy, and elevating and promoting positive models to inspire giving for a more sustainable world with a coalition of organizations and individuals.
We seek to include diverse, traditional, and new definitions of giving and philanthropy, elevating models and practices that encourage a world where everyone has access and rights to their basic needs being met sustainably. We will uplift and recognize the different definitions of and practices of philanthropy by individuals and organizations that are making a difference transforming the world through their giving.
In December 2014, the GCCP launched Rules to Give By: A Global Philanthropy Legal Environment Index which is the world’s first study on government support for philanthropy in all 193 United Nations Member States. It offers an index of countries’ performance based on the regulatory and tax conditions associated with philanthropy, and investigates the relationship between the presence of such infrastructure and the percentage of people donating money to charity according to the 2013 World Giving Index.
Encouragingly, a median index score of 9 out of 11 reveals that there is widespread participation in measures to encourage philanthropy. An average score of 7 out of 11 tells us that there is room for improvement. While there are notable outliers, higher income nations as defined by the World Bank tend to score higher on the index, with all countries receiving the maximum score of 11 being High Income nations.
You can find individual country reports and the full report and executive summary, as well as a zoomable map of all countries listed with their scores to download here.
The report found that the vast majority of countries (95%) offer tax exemption for non-profits, yet higher income countries are more likely to have reporting requirements for non-profits than lower income countries.
While the majority of countries offer incentives for people making donations within their lifetimes, only 46 percent of countries that impose taxes on the estates of the deceased offer incentives for people who wish to leave money to a charitable cause in their will.
However, the report found a disparity between support for corporate donations and support for donations by individuals. Seventy-seven percent of countries offer some form of tax incentive to corporate donors, but only 66 percent offer incentives to individual donors.
Notably, the percentage of people donating money to charity is 12 percentage points higher in nations offering tax incentives to individuals (33 percent) than in those that do not (21 percent). This trend holds across the economic spectrum, with Low Income countries seeing a significant difference in the rates of people giving money to charity according to the World Giving Index in countries with tax incentives for individuals (27%) and those without tax incentives for individuals (18%).
The Rules to Give By Index was created by Nexus, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and the Charities Aid Foundation. It was produced to support the Nexus Global Campaign for a Culture of Philanthropy, which aims to enable and stimulate philanthropy around the world, and sponsored by NFP.
Nexus formulated seven questions around philanthropy in 2012, then partnered with McDermott Will & Emery to conduct research on the tax codes and laws in all 193 United Nations Member States regarding these questions. The information gathered is presented in the Rules to Give By Country Reports. Charities Aid Foundation joined in 2013 to develop an informative indexing method and collaborate on analysis. A weighted scoring method was developed to reflect the importance of certain legal infrastructure for charitable giving. The index does not attempt to assess the implementation of laws or to assess the size/value of tax incentives as differences in rates of tax levied on income and in the way incentives are offered (credit or deduction) would make comparison unworkable. Rather, the index assesses whether the legal instruments are technically in place. Further information about this can be found in the “Scope and Limitations” section of the report.
We hope for this report to stimulate conversation and action about governments’ role in encouraging philanthropic giving and build upon the efforts already in motion. To read the 52-page executive summary report, click here.
As research for the report was carried out in 2012-2014, some data may have changed since recording answers to the report questions. If you spot an inaccuracy, please send the correct information with a reference to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may note it here.
We would like to thank National Financial Partners Corp for their sponsorship of this report.
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