How generous are we, really?

Philanthropy: Who's the most generous?   

Growing confidence in the global economic recovery is helping to boost charitable donations, according to the latest study.

The 2015 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index, released this week, shows the level of donations recovering across Europe,Asia and the Middle East, pick up a near three-year climb after a drop in the index last year. Each region, including the US, logged an average 5-point jump on index's 100-point scale for 2015.

"(The) main reason is the better economic state in Europe and Asia. People really feel like we are on the path to recovery,"Nathalie Sauvanet, BNP Paribas Wealth Management's head of individual philanthropy told CNBC via email.


Europe saw the highest increase in both projected and current giving, rising 9.2 points from the year before and is now nearly level with the US.

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However, Oxfam International's Acting Head of Income Development, Suzi Faye, told CNBC the charity hasn't necessarily seen a correlation between economic recovery and the level of donations.

"The situation is different in the different markets Oxfam affiliates fundraise in," Faye said via email.

"We know that even when times are tough, people can be very generous if moved to act."

The index measured donor's current level of giving, focus on innovation, and promotion of their charitable cause. Survey data was collected from 400 individuals with at least $5 million in investable assets between October and December 2014.

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Nearly 65 percent of respondents listed health as their top charitable cause, though environmental charities followed closely behind at 52 percent and education at 44 percent.

The report also outlined the main reasons for charitable giving. A majority of respondents cited a sense of duty, desire to give back to society, altruistic desire to help others. Religious obligations were an additional driver in the Middle East.