Individual giving in India, Russia, the Arab region and Brazil

Individual giving in India, Russia, the Arab region and Brazil is part of PSJP’s Philanthropy Study. Previously the study has focused on producing a series of papers on philanthropy in four emerging market countries/regions – India, Russia, the Arab region and Brazil. These studies have taken a broad view of philanthropy, encompassing everything from individual giving (by the very wealthy and by people of more modest means, including crowdfunding) to giving by private and corporate foundations, CSR, community philanthropy, social justice philanthropy, self-funded movements and impact investing.

The current paper looks at individual giving by ordinary people in these countries/ regions in more depth. Seen as an area of great promise in India and Russia, it is at an earlier stage in Brazil. In the Arab region giving to the social sector is barely making headway, though traditional giving is very much alive.

The paper draws on two sources. As a first step, we brought together the different accounts of individual giving in these different places. We shared the resulting paper with people from each country/region, mostly people who had contributed to the original studies, and invited them to take part in a webinar to discuss the findings. On 30 April 2019 we held two webinars to discuss and expand on the findings.

This paper brings together the findings of the original studies and the responses from the webinars. It looks at the development of individual giving in India, Russia, the Arab region and Brazil, with a special focus on some significant trends: crowdfunding and online giving, national giving days/weeks, fundraising by NGOs, and the causes that individual donors give to. It then goes on to look at the significance of the rise in individual giving; the role of technology in this; and finally the kinds of things that would enhance individual giving.

As with other papers in this series, this study is neither exhaustive nor complete – so the report coming out of it should be considered a working paper, a work in progress, not a finished product. We hope that others reading it will comment, disagree with it and add to it, perhaps publishing other working papers and blogs that might fill in the gaps.

This report is authored by Caroline Hartnell and published by PSJP in association with Alliance, CAF Russia, Philanthropy Network for Social Justice (Rede de Filantropia Para a Justica Social), Institute for the Development of Social Investment (IDIS), SAANED and WINGS.

To comment on findings or engage in a conversation about this report, please write to us at