Global philanthropic activity has increased by five points on average in 2015 with Europe recording the strongest growth in current and projected giving, a new survey has revealed.
The third annual Philanthropy Index, put together by BNP Paribas Wealth Management (WM) and Forbes Insights, revealed that Europe experienced the fastest growth in philanthropic activity from 46.3 points in 2013 to 55.5 at the end of 2014, almost reaching the same level as the US.
The data for the Index is derived from a 2014 survey of approximately 400 individuals across four regions (Europe, US, Asia, Middle East) and with at least $5m in investable assets.
Kasia Moreno, editorial director at Forbes Insight and co-responsible of the survey, said Europe "leads in innovation," as there is a "high sense of duty and family legacy" in the region.
Contrary to last year’s survey, health, instead of the environment, showed up as the top cause of philanthropic investments among all the four regions, with Asia registering the highest percentage (70%).
The new Philanthropy Index also revealed that philanthropists are increasingly embracing technology. The top uses of technology in philanthropy are currently promotion via social media (42%), crowd evaluation (42%) and crowdfunding/online fundraising platforms (41%).
Furthermore, a majority of respondents (67%) believe that advisors are necessary to most effectively navigate the giving sector. After family (51%), philanthropy advisors/agencies (39%) and external experts in the area of focus (37%) are the most often consulted resources for help with giving.
The Index showed that "Impact/mission investing" is seen as the most promising trend by most philanthropists (52% each) worldwide.
In particular, the US is the region where this trend has been accelerating the most (60%). On the other hand, the Middle East is more keen on addressing the root causes of problems (61%), the survey found.
Meanwhile, collaborative philanthropy (51%), rather than individual, is a big trend that allows the sharing of best practice and building up an effective common strategy or funding, the research further revealed.
Interestingly, the survey found that 27% of the interviewees choose to remain anonymous when approaching philanthropy that is down 14 points from last year. Only 17% of the survey’s respondents actively publicises their involvement to "help their philanthropy".
"Some philanthropists may want to stay anonymous out of modesty, and those who give to organisations run by others often leave the promotion to them," explained Moreno.