Indians make maximum donations to religious organisations: Study

It is also interesting to note that the percentage of the total share of households who donated in rural India is higher than in urban India: Report

Representational image. File photo

New Delhi | Published 20.09.22, 02:17 AM

Indian households donated Rs 23,700 crore in 2021-22 with the maximum donations going to religious organisations, according to a study by Ashoka University.

The report titled “How India Gives, 2020-21” by the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University and the World Panel Division of Kantar, has found that Indians largely donate in cash.


A total of 81,000 households across 18 states were surveyed for the study.

“Religious beliefs provide the primary motivations for Indians to give followed by the desire to support someone in financial distress and follow family traditions. South India donates the highest average amount followed by west India, while incidences of giving were highest in eastern and northern India,” the study report said.

The study reveals that 64 per cent of household giving was directed towards “religious organisations” and 61 per cent towards “beggars”, while the lowest incidence of giving was directed towards household staff at 3 per cent.

“Word of mouth from family and friends served as an important source of information and accounted for 27 per cent of the total religious donations. It is also interesting to note that the percentage of the total share of households who donated in rural India is higher than in urban India. This survey did not reveal a high incidence of ‘volunteering’ among households,” the report said.

The amount of total cash donations towards religious organisations was estimated to be “Rs 16,600 crore, which constituted 70 per cent share of the market”.

This was followed by beggars with an estimated share of 12 per cent (Rs 2,900 crore), family and friends at 9 per cent (Rs 2,000 crore), non-religious organisations at 5 per cent (Rs 1,100 crore), and household staff at 4 per cent (Rs 1,000 crore).

“Of the total incidence of household giving, more households contribute to religious organisations (64 per cent), followed by beggars (61 per cent), family and friends (9 per cent), non-religious organisations (5 per cent), and household staff (4 per cent).”

High-value donations (above Rs 10,000; between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000; and between Rs 1,001 and Rs 5,000) were mainly made to family and friends and to household staff. The lowest value cash donations (Rs 100) were made mainly to beggars, while slightly larger amounts (between Rs 101 and Rs 300, and between Rs 301 and Rs 500) were given to religious organisations and non-religious organisations,” it said.

Ashoka University Indian Households Religious Organisations
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