Giving in South Korea growing in both size and type


Alliance magazine


According to research from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, South Korea has been experiencing growth in philanthropic activities over the last decade. This giving is rooted in both traditional giving vehicles, as well as emerging ways of giving.

According to the research, a total of $12.6 billion was donated in South Korea in 2020 – the last year for which the research has data – with a third of that funding coming from corporations and two-thirds from individual donors.

The top three giving vehicles between 2016 to 2020 were face-to-face donation pledges, charitable bequests, and major gifts. Other methods include giving by automated response service (ARS), general interbank recurring order (GIRO), and crowdfunding reward tokens.

The research found that while P2P giving through social network services has been dominated by donors in their 20s and 30s, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of daily life, giving through traditional methods such as ARS and GIRO actually increased due to their contactless nature.

Another new giving trend – and one unique to Korea – is Fandom donation. While fandoms have from time to time supported their stars’ charitable donations, fandom donations have systematically evolved as a philanthropic giving movement in South Korea since 2007. Particularly under the Covid-19 outbreak, fandom donations exponentially increased in 2020.

The research into South Korea’s giving trends was conducted by the Lilly Family School in partnership with the Beautiful Foundation Center on Philanthropy in Seoul. The report, Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving, is part of a research series that explores emerging philanthropic giving vehicles in 8 countries.

Tagged in: Regional representatives

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