Pakistanis tend to give generously to charity: survey – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the country grappled with many socio-economic challenges such as income disparities, unemployment and rising poverty, it was inspiring to note that a majority Pakistanis remained committed to philanthropic giving in one form or another, a poll says.

Led by the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy, the survey was conducted during the pandemic. It was heartening to see that people, even from poor socio-economic backgrounds, said they had given in one form or another. This testified to the spirit of giving that permeated all classes in Pakistan.

The results meant that the Pakistanis were a donor nation. About eight in 10 people surveyed, both men and women, said they had donated to or helped someone who was poor financially in the past year. Asked about the last time they paid social contributions, around 40 percent said they had done so in the past month. On average, an adult Pakistani reported spending around Rs 10,000 a year on a charitable cause.

Drawing on the methodology of the Charity Aid Foundation UK’s (CAF) World Giving Index, the study attempted to examine the norms and practices of charitable giving among Pakistanis. Data were collected by means of a brief questionnaire using the random digital dialing (RDD) technique. The interviews were conducted by Gallup Pakistan.

Said 84% of respondents said they had made charitable donations in some form in the past year

Some of the key findings showed that charitable donations were common in Pakistan. About 84% of respondents said they had made charitable donations in some form in the past year. A relatively lower giving score – 81% – was reported for rural respondents than their urban counterparts of around 86%.

The survey noted that giving in Pakistan was not just a phenomenon of income or employment status. Around 79% of unemployed respondents also said they had donated in some form, compared to 82% of those employed part-time and 89% of employed respondents. This meant the idea that being unemployed or having a low income did not deter individuals from contributing to charitable donations and helping others in need.

The main beneficiaries of the charity were those whom the donors knew personally. About 46% of the beneficiaries were poor individuals/households or families whom the donors knew personally and 44% were beggars whom they met. About 30% of the beneficiaries were poor individuals/households or families whom they did not know personally.

The survey identified religion as the main motivation for doing charity, as stated by 67% of respondents. Interestingly, 72% of high-income people cited religion as a motivator, compared to 58% of low-income people and 65% of middle-income people. The survey found that wealthier households were more likely to pay zakat and fitrana, etc.

More than six in 10 respondents (64 percent) thought the charity had a big impact on Pakistan as a whole as well as the local community.

Almost seven out of 10 or 76% Pakistanis said they had paid zakat, sadaqa or khairat to family members or non-family members in the past year. On average, an adult Pakistani would have spent Rs 10,000 in a year. Some 14% of respondents said they had volunteered for an organization at some point during the year.

Posted in Dawn, July 10, 2022

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