Global Philanthropy: Does Institutional Context Matter for Charitable Giving?

Pamala Wiepking, Femida Handy, Sohyun Park, Michaela Neumayr, René Bekkers, Beth Breeze, Arjen de Wit, Christopher J. Einolf, Zbignev Gricevic, Wendy Scaife, Steffen Bethmann, Oonagh B. Breen, Chulhee Kang, Hagai Katz, Irina Krasnopolskaya, Michael D. Layton, Irina Mersianova, Kuang Ta Lo, Una Osili, Anne Birgitta PessiKarl Henrik Sivesind, Naoto Yamauchi, Yongzheng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-728
Number of pages32
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • charitable giving
  • fiscal incentives
  • global philanthropy
  • institutional contexts
  • legal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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