Pakistan is among the few countries which contribute more than one per cent of its GDP to charity, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review report.
The contributions push it into the ranks of far wealthier countries like the United Kingdom (1.3 per cent GDP to charity) and Canada (1.2 per cent of GDP), and stand around twice what India gives to those in need as a percentage of its GDP.
A study conducted by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy shows that Pakistanis give around Rs240 billion (more than $2 billion) annually to charity.
The report indicates that about 98 per cent of people in the country give in one form or another – if not with cash, then with in-kind donations or by volunteering for needy causes.
Fueling this culture of generosity is the Islamic emphasis on giving – in the form of Zakat, Sadaqa, and Fitrana – as well as other moral and social factors and a deeply rooted sense of compassion toward community members.
But despite this tradition of giving, most donations go directly to individuals, thus bypassing charitable organisations, a media report said.
In order for Pakistan to become a more integral player in the sustainable development agenda, it needs to make efforts to institutionalize the individual tendency of giving and redirect it toward more-structured efforts, the study recommends.