People in Thailand most likely to donate to charity followed by consumers in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia; Kiwis most likely to give significant individual donations; children’s health and education the most important cause in the region

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Singapore, 15 July 2015 – More than half of consumers across Asia Pacific are donating to charity, with emerging markets topping the region, according to MasterCard’s latest research. Meanwhile, consumers in developed markets are more likely to make significant individual donations. Across AsiInfographic_ MasterCard Charitable Giving Survey Asia Pacifica Pacific the older generation are more likely to donate to charity, while, overall, consumers in the region have the highest affinity for causes focused on ‘Children’s health and education’. However, in some of the region’s most developed markets, such as Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, people are most likely to donate to charities focused on ‘serious illness’. Japanese consumers are the least likely to donate to charity, but when they do, ‘local disaster relief’ is the number one cause. This may be due to the regularity of earthquakes in the country.

The results are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2014, with a minimum of 500 people aged 18-64, in each of the 14 markets.

Top findings:

  • Overall, more than half (53.2%) of Asia Pacific consumers donate to charity, with those in Thailand (70.5%), Vietnam (70.4%), Hong Kong (64.6%) and Indonesia (63.2%) more likely to do so.
  • The Japanese are the least likely to donate to charity with only 16.2% saying they are doing so.
  • People in India are the most likely to say they will be donating more to charity this year than the year before (41.5%). Most consumers across Asia Pacific (48.8%) intend to donate the same amount as they did the year before.
  • ‘Children’s health and education’ is the cause closest to Asia Pacific respondents’ hearts – this was mentioned in all of the countries, except Hong Kong, as one of the top three causes.
  • Japanese consumers list ‘Local Natural Disaster Relief’ as the number one cause they would donate to.
  • The biggest givers in the region are Kiwis who are most likely to make individual donations of more than US$500 (11.5%), followed by people in Hong Kong (8.7%) and Australia (8.4%). In all three, people are most likely to donate to charities focused on ‘Serious Illness’.
  • Across all markets, those who are older (50-64 years old – 59.1%) are more likely to donate to charity than those in the 18-24 years old age group (45.4%).

Georgette Tan, Group Head, Communications, Asia Pacific, MasterCard said, “Charitable giving behavior differs around the world and is influenced by various factors such as culture, age, level of disposable income, as well as the presence of conflict. For example, in Japan, people appear to have a preference for donating to causes that support local disaster relief. This is unsurprising given the prevalence of earthquakes and the long term impact of 2011’s tsunami and resulting Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

“It is also interesting to note that the three markets where people are most likely to make sizeable donations – New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia – are also the markets where ‘serious illness’ is the most popular charitable cause. Perhaps this is due to the increased prevalence of serious illnesses such as cancer in more developed economies where the population tends to live to an older age. Nevertheless, a desire to support and protect children – the future generation – appears to be universal.” 

The findings lend support to MasterCard’s Purchase with Purpose initiatives, which involve cardholders in the company’s efforts to give back to the community whenever they use their MasterCard cards. A percentage of the cost of an item sold on the Purchase with Purpose platform is channeled to causes supporting women and education – giving the underprivileged a chance at learning a skill, championing further education, raising awareness of health issues, supporting the cause of environmental protection, among others.

About MasterCard

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Media Contacts

Georgette Tan, MasterCard, georgette_tan@mastercard.com, +65 6390 5971

Samantha Yong, Weber Shandwick, samyong@webershandwick.com +65 6825 8053