A new report found the global philanthropic environment is improving but Australia showed a slight decline on previous years.

The 2022 Global Philanthropy Environment Index (GPEI) reveals that the philanthropic environment showed modest improvement at the global level, but not uniformly so.

Overall, 62% of countries reported a favourable philanthropic environment, however, one third of countries reported a shrinking space for philanthropy.

The report released by the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University measured the enabling environment for philanthropy in 91 countries and economies during the three-year period from 2018 to 2020. These findings are based on responses by more than 100 country experts and regional reviewers

The countries were assessed on six factors using a score on a scale of 1 (least favourable) to 5 (most favourable): 1. ease of operating a philanthropic organisation; 2. tax incentives; 3. cross-border philanthropic flows; 4. political environment; 5. economic environment; and 6. socio-cultural environment.

The average score of 3.67 in 2018-2021 was a slight improvement on the 2014-2017 score of 3.64.

In scoring 4.27, Australia showed a slight decline from 2014-2017.

The economy with the highest average overall score was Liechtenstein, at 4.91, followed by Norway (4.83), Switzerland (4.83), Germany (4.78), and the United States (4.76). Joining these countries with scores between 4.5 and 5 were Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden.

Joining Australia in the band from 4.0 -4.49 is Austria, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Taiwan and the UK.

Australia ranked slightly neighbouring New Zealand which scored 4.38.

In terms of causes, according to the country experts the top five causes supported by philanthropy were:

  1. basic needs (59%)
  2. health and medical research (53%),
  3. arts and culture (52%),
  4. early childhood education through high school (46%),
  5. human rights (38%),
  6. youth and family (38%)

Those country experts noted that the future of philanthropy will be characterised by new technologies and the digitalisation of giving.

Country and regional reports suggest that a consistent and enabling regulatory environment, state collaboration, and strong philanthropic traditions and societal values are essential to nurture philanthropy.

You can read the key findings on Australia and New Zealand in a paper by Krystian Seibert from the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology here.

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