For people known for its bayanihan spirit, just how generous Filipinos are? Not that generous, it turns out.
Based on the 2016 World Giving Index of the Charities Aid Foundation, the Philippines was ranked 88th out of 140 countries in terms of the average percentage of people who donate money, volunteer, or help a stranger.
Myanmar took the top spot – the third time in so many years that the primarily Buddhist country was ranked number one – followed by the United States and Australia.
“Filipinos are known to be very generous. We are known for our spirit of bayanihan. How come this does not translate into giving? The study showed only 21 percent of Filipinos make donations and do other charitable behavior,” said Ann Cuisia-Lindayag, Funder and CEO of Gava, an online donor community that envisions in making generosity a lifestyle among netizens.
Gava, which means gift in Swedish, enables users to easily create crowd-funding campaigns for various personal events and social causes.
Cuisia-Lindayag said the crowd-funding platform (gavagives.com) currently has 10 payment gateways – Mastercard/VISA, PayPal, Globe Cash, Smart Money, 7-11, payment centers, Bancnet, bank deposit, internet banking, and through cash or check pick-up.
While Gava claims to be “free of fees,” the company earns through a percentage of the donation deducted as service fee: 10 percent for individual, eight percent for non-governmental organizations, and six percent for corporate entities.
Since its inception in 2016, Gava has launched and fulfilled 1,000 causes.
Jannah Malonzo, a 24-year-old overseas Filipino worker, was able to raise $1,501.86 to help her clear her father’s name after he was falsely accused of a crime and was put behind bars.
“We’ve tried raising funds through selling brownies, leche flan and preloved stuff, but it isn’t enough. The expenses kept on incurring, and at some point, I felt hopeless. It seems as if freedom has a price tag, and we just can’t afford it. This situation has taken its toll on our family, but we’re not giving up. Because you don’t give up on the people you love, no matter how difficult it may seem,” Malonzo said.
University of Sto. Tomas managed to raise $52,606 for its Project Agham, which aims to promote a “culture of science” by advancing the academic and research capability of the college. The contributions gathered help finance infrastructure improvement, student scholarships, and faculty and student internalization activities.
Of course, there was also the pro-Duterte rally organized by the Duterte Alliance of Volunteers, Artists and Organizers or Davao Movement. The crowd-funding campaign generated $47,470.06, which was used to finance the pro-government’s party in Luneta.
“Gava’s vision is to be top of mind when it comes to gifting, helping more people help more people,” Cuisia-Lindayag said.
“Gava aims to make it fun and easy to give to anyone. It creates a culture of giving, right at the tips of your fingers, hassle-free. The possibility to give, to share to others – it’s all right within your reach,” she added.
The company will soon launch GavaCheers, a portal where beneficiaries can give tokens or gifts to their donors.