Global Philanthropy: Does Institutional Context Matter for Charitable Giving?


In this article, we examine whether and how the institutional context matters when understanding individuals’ giving to philanthropic organizations. We posit that both the individuals’ propensity to give and the amounts given are higher in countries with a stronger institutional context for philanthropy. We examine key factors of formal and informal institutional contexts for philanthropy at both the organizational and societal levels, including regulatory and legislative frameworks, professional standards, and social practices. Our results show that while aggregate levels of giving are higher in countries with stronger institutionalization, multilevel analyses of 118,788 individuals in 19 countries show limited support for the hypothesized relationships between institutional context and philanthropy. The findings suggest the need for better comparative data to understand the complex and dynamic influences of institutional contexts on charitable giving. This, in turn, would support the development of evidence-based practices and policies in the field of global philanthropy.

Cite As
Wiepking, Pamala, Femida Handy, Sohyun Park, Michaela Neumayr, René Bekkers, Beth Breeze, Arjen de Wit, Chris Einolf, Zbignev Gricevic, Wendy Scaife, Steffen Bethmann, Oonagh B. Breen, Chulhee Kang, Hagai Katz, Irina Krasnopolskaya, Michael D. Layton, Irina Mersiyanova, Kuang-Ta Lo, Una Osili, Anne Birgitta Pessi, Karl-Henrik Sivesind, Naoto Yamauchi, Yongzheng Yang. (2021). Global philanthropy: Does institutional context matter for charitable giving. Online first in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Pamala Wiepking was funded for her work in this paper by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research grant VI 451-09-022 and by the SPP Do Good Institute—ARNOVA Global Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Award. Her work at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is funded by the Stead Family, and her work at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is funded by the Dutch Charity Lotteries. Femida Handy was funded for her work in this paper by the University of Pennsylvania’s PURM mentorship grant. Both authors are grateful for the support and funding received.
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