Study shows how a western concept of charity undervalues South African generosity

Interesting article on what constitutes “charitable giving” and on how meaning impacts on results and, in this instance, on our understanding of giving in South Africa.

Future World Giving

future world giving, philanthropy South Africa believes it can make a difference. Image by Jonathan Gill via Flickr


Nine out of 10 people give time or money according to new study of South African giving. However, the report also reveals that formal civil society organisations are struggling to gain the support of ordinary donors and raises questions about how we define charitable giving.

It is often observed that by applying western conceptions of charity in assessing non western nations, we might be undervaluing the innate strengths and capacities of civil society. I Believe I Can Make A Difference – a new research report from CAF Southern Africa provides compelling evidence from surveys undertaken in South Africa that this may indeed be the case.

The survey revealed that during the three months prior to interview,  94% of respondents gave goods, 85% donated money and 56% volunteered. Such figures paint a remarkable picture of a society in…

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