Study: U.S. Leads in Private, Charitable Giving

Donations Sustaining Developing Countries

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 16, 2009 ( As Benedict XVI urges developed nations to stop cutting aid to less developed ones, a study notes that private giving is actually on the rise, especially in the United States.

The Washington-based Hudson Institute affirmed this in its 2009 Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances.

The report, released in April, notes that private giving and remittances are expected to be «lifelines» to help developing countries during the financial crisis.

The institute’s Center for Global Prosperity measured philanthropic giving across the globe, and stated that the latest data shows an increase of $49 billion given in 2007 to help developing countries.

It stated that despite «the loss of assets in 2008, giving abroad by foundations, corporations, charities, churches, and individuals is not expected to take a sharp downward turn in 2009.»

The institute added that the «secret weapon» in the global recession may be remittances.

These are monetary gifts sent from migrants living in developed countries back to their families and towns in developing areas, which may be «the most recession-resilient means to help alleviate poverty.»

The institute added that in spite of the economic recession, remittances increased 9% to an estimated $305 billion in 2008.

It cited the World Bank’s prediction that although this amount began to decline in 2009, it will not decrease more than 5%-8% this year.

Significant force

Generally, private global giving is rising around the world, and is a «significant force» that is changing the traditional «government aid architecture.»

The index stated, «New models of philanthropic giving, championed in the United States, are being taken to new heights by companies» and private organizations.

«Social entrepreneurs and venture philanthropists are helping millions of people in the developing world start their own companies and create jobs for others,» it added.

In the United States, $115.9 billion in private donations were recorded, which is more than five times the official public aid amount of $21.8 billion.

Of this, foundations gave $3.3 billion, corporations donated $6.8 billion and private and voluntary organizations gave $10.8 billion.

U.S. volunteers gave approximately $3.5 billion worth of volunteer time for development aid abroad.

Religious organizations and churches gave $8.6 billion to help developing countries.

Africa received the bulk of the private aid from corporations and charities, while Latin America was given the majority of aid from religious organizations and churches.

The institute noted that technology has advanced charitable giving, describing a «Twestival» fundraising event using Twitter.

As well, it acknowledged facilitating Internet programs for giving donations and cell phone technology that enables migrants to send money home easier.

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