With the new year and the new decade come new opportunities for growth. To help your organizations prepare for your resource mobilization initiatives, we have put together some notable updates in the local and regional landscapes.

The World Giving Index (WGI): 10 Years of Giving Trends of the Charities Aid Foundation consolidates its 10 years’ data on giving. Hailed as the world's leading study into global generosity, the report measures 3 kinds of generosity – helping a stranger, donating money, and volunteering time. 

With an overall rank of 33 out of 126 countries surveyed in the 10-year WGI, the Philippines’ score is by no means low. However, the study also listed the Philippines as one of the “biggest fallers” in ranking, indicating the Filipinos’ decreasing willingness to give. This is despite a growing economy, which is usually considered as an indicator of an increasing capacity to give.

The Philippines’ downward trend in giving may be stemming from a general atmosphere of distrust that is disrupting its culture of giving, caused by adverse socio-political conditions. The Asia Foundation’s 2020 in Asia: A 20/20 Look cited some pervasive issues, such as the increasing dynastic control of Congress and pressures on media groups and non-government organizations (NGOs).

Similarly, according to the 2018 Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index for Asia, released last November 2019 by FHI 360, CSOs in the country suffer from a deteriorating legal environment, advocacy, and public image. These are despite the consistently robust organizational capacity and service provision of Philippine CSOs. The report cited the state’s critical perception on CSOs and human rights advocates on extrajudicial killings and censorship issues, and the lingering distrust in CSOs due to the 2013 pork barrel scandal as key factors that contributed to the results.

Challenges and tensions of this nature are not unique to the Philippines. All over Asia, countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka face threats to democracy, political turmoil, and conflict that make it difficult for CSOs and NGOs to operate. 

Nonetheless, several countries in Asia have demonstrated an increase in giving. Data from the WGI has shown that 3 out of the top 10 highest scoring countries are from Asia – these are Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Indonesia. In addition, half of the countries with the biggest rises in giving within the 10 year period are from the Asian continent, namely: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates.

Given the current state of affairs, what can we do to strengthen our Filipino culture of giving? 

A trend in Philippine giving has been an enthusiasm for volunteering – the Philippines ranked as one of WGI’s top 10 countries in volunteering time. Hence, local CSOs and NGOs should consider creating or strengthening their volunteer programs, as a way to spread awareness for their advocacies. Additionally, as information and technology become more and more accessible in the digital age, developing strong brand awareness through the use of websites, social media, and other online platforms are important, especially in highlighting our organization’s credibility and program track record. Thus, we recommend maximizing these platforms in building your organization’s online community and mass base, as this will ultimately help in soliciting donations online, whether through a crowdfunding campaign or sending out fund raising emails.

To conclude, we, at Venture, believe that there is a need to strengthen public trust in CSOs and NGOs by continuously highlighting our legitimacy, transparency, and accountability. Although not complete by any means, we hope that this quick look at the local and regional landscape will help your organizations prepare for your fund raising endeavors in the new decade. 

1 Charities Aid Foundation (October 2019). CAF World Giving Index, 10th Edition: 10 Years of Giving Trends.
2 The Asia Foundation (January 8, 2020). 2020 in Asia: A 20/20 Look. InAsia.
3 The United States Agency for International Development, the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, and the Center for Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance. 2018 Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index, for Asia, 5th Edition – November 2019. 

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