Giving of Ordinary People

In April 2015 I worked with CAF SA to release a report entitled “The Giving of Ordinary People – Individual Giving by ‘Ordinary People’ Living in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

The key message of this research project is a simple statement:

Ordinary people give.

But the REAL message goes even deeper, and it’s far more profound.

Ordinary people give – and they feel their giving makes a difference.


The survey reveals that over 90% of respondents reported giving or volunteering during the three months prior to the study.   94% of the respondents gave goods, 85% donated money and 56% volunteered.

The results also reflect the findings of the most recent World Giving Index, published by the Charities Aid Foundation in the United Kingdom, which revealed that South Africa had moved up 35 places in the global league table of generosity.

These findings show that people want to make a difference by giving material goods, money and time. The obvious challenge, given the current resurgence of xenophobia in South Africa, is to extend these altruistic actions to all people living in our country.

Going forward, we would also like to see more giving by ordinary citizens to support the civil society organisations that work to make a real difference in the long term, for example the organisations currently working to challenge human rights violations in the courts as well as to alleviate the suffering and displacement caused by the resurgence of xenophobia.

Here’s a summary of the findings of our study on what ordinary people give, to whom, and why:

The key findings2 of this report for individual giving and volunteering in Gauteng Province are as follows:

HOW PEOPLE GIVE MONEY Give to organisations 29% 22% Give to individuals 34% Give to both individuals and organisations those giving in each way at least once in the previous 3 months those giving in each way at least once in the previous 3 months

poor people give - to which organisations


poor people give - why they give

Click here to link to the full paper.