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18 Jul 2018

Indian-Americans donate $1bn every year, one-third of their giving potential

Indian-Americans, who are among the ethnic groups with highest per capita income, donate about $1 billion/year, far less than their potential of $3 billion philanthropy in the US, revealed a first-of-its-kind survey.

The survey, which assessed the giving habits of Indian-Americans, concluded the community donates in the range of 1.5% of their income/year, compared to the average American donation rate of 4%.

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In context

Indian-Americans donate $1 billion a year: Survey

Indian-Americans recognized as well educated, socially aware community

With a strong 4.1 million members, Indian-Americans have one of the highest median household incomes of any ethnic community in the US, and it is recognized as being well educated and socially aware.

Trust deficit

Indian-American donors often lack trust in philanthropic organizations: Survey

Released during the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit at Georgetown University in Washington on Tuesday, the Indiaspora-Dalberg Community Engagement Survey found that Indian-Americans volunteer at nearly double the national average but give substantially less financially, ultimately leaving a significant social impact on the table.

The survey also found credible evidence buttressing the pervasive notion that Indian diaspora donors often lack trust in the philanthropic organizations.

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Hours in service

Indian diaspora typically volunteers 220 hours each year

The survey found Indian-Americans are passionate about social impact, have a diversity of interests, are careful screeners, and prolific volunteers.

An Indian-American donor typically volunteers 220 hours each year, far exceeding the US national average of 130-hours annually.

"However, the community must not get complacent as the Indian diaspora has a long way to go before we can call ourselves good givers," it noted.


Men, women have different order of importance

The survey also found that women and men do not always rank the same causes in the same order of importance.

For example, 59% of women listed gender equality as an area they are passionate about (tied with education as their top passion area) whereas only 26% of men said the same (only 6th on their list of passion areas).


Giving potential of Indian-Americans is enormous, says Joe Dougherty

At over $3 billion dollars annually, the giving potential of Indian-Americans is enormous said Joe Dougherty, Dalberg Advisors' regional director for the Americas.

To put it into context, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation distributes $4-5 billion across the entire globe every year.

"Imagine the kind of impact the diaspora could create if they met their giving potential," Dougherty said.

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