Donations by Indians grew by half in last 4 years

Mumbai: Philanthropic donations by wealthy Indians have grown by half in the last four years and touched approximately 5-6 billion USD or up to 0.4 per cent of GDP in 2010, a study by consulting firm Bain and Company said.

And what is more, the study, in which 300 wealthy individuals participated, has found that 40 per cent of wealthy individuals in India plan to increase their philanthropic donations over the next five years.

"Going forward, as the wealthy population grows and India`s philanthropic network becomes more evolved and efficient, we will witness greater levels of giving," India Philanthropy Report 2011`s author Arpan Sheth told PTI here.

Majority of 74 per cent of the donations in India come from corporate sector and foreign funds, while individual contributions constitute only 26 per cent, Sheth said, quoting the findings of the report.

The corporate donations alone have grown five times since 2006 to over 1.5 billion USD, he said.

When it comes to allocation of funds, education, food and clothing, housing and healthcare are some of the biggest areas where the money is devoted, the report has found.

Sheth said that even though the data collected has been encouraging, India still lags behind the developed countries, where the private giving as a percentage of GDP is much higher. In the USA, it is one of the highest at 2.2 per cent, while in the UK it stood at 1.3 per cent in 2010.

The report also recommends steps like increasing accountability and transparency throughout the giving chain, having professional NGOs; promotion of the culture of giving and creation of a conducive environment for giving that will help boost philanthropy in India.