S'poreans becoming more generous

S'poreans becoming more generous
PLANTING CHARITY: NTUC Income's Ong Kim Eng (left) and Salbiah Manan looking at plant terrariums being sold to raise funds for charity at Income's Ang Mo Kio branch, as part of a nationwide ''GivingTuesdaySG'' effort.

Singaporeans are becoming more generous when it comes to giving their time or money for a good cause.

About 55 per cent donated to charity last year, almost double the 29 per cent the year before, according to a global index for charitable giving released on Tuesday.

More Singaporeans are also volunteering, with 17 per cent contributing their time and efforts, up from 8 per cent.

Thanks to the surge in generosity, Singapore shot up 50 places in the World Giving Index 2013 compiled by the Britain-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

It ranked 64th out of the 135 countries and economies polled - a stark improvement from its 114th place last year. It is also Singapore's best showing since the annual ranking began in 2010.

While more are willing to give money or time, Singaporeans appear to be more hesitant when it comes to helping strangers.

The CAF found that only 24 per cent of those here had helped a stranger last year - the same as the year before - placing Singapore in second last place, just ahead of Cambodia. The United States topped the table for helping strangers, with 77 per cent assisting.

The CAF measures three areas - volunteering, donating and helping a stranger. Respondents were asked if they had done any of the three in the month before they were surveyed.

Polling was conducted by Gallup, which surveyed more than 155,000 people in 135 countries and economies last year. The foundation then averaged out the findings in each category to give an overall score and ranking.

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