The 5 Interesting facts about Donation culture of Korea and U.S. that you might not be aware of

Warren Buffet, the most successful investor of the 20th century said, “The passion is key of success and the fulfillment of success is sharing.” Bill Gates said,  “The reason why I participate in Donation movement is to give back to society what I received.”

Mark Zuckerberg, became the biggest donator last December by donating $1 billion to ‘Silicon community Foundation’. Not only that but also the amount of donation of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, co-founders of hp, Hewlett and Packard is more than expectation.

“It is impossible to run business without help of society.”

The donation culture and volunteer work are an important scale to see the culture level of one country. We can see the health of the society by looking at the sharing and donation culture, how citizens are doing this by themselves to contribute to integration between classes and improvement of quality of life.

Is the donation culture sound for two countries: Korea, where they are on the stage to establish the wholesome donation culture, and U.S. where international size of donation foundations are working actively? Let’s find out the 5 truths of donation culture of Korea and U.S. that you might not be aware of.


1. U.S citizens donate $2, when Koreans donate 50 cents, given that they earned $100.

U.S. had highest ratio of donation of GDP, 2.3% according to 2008 research. Canada showed 0.73%, U.K. showed 0.71%. Koreans donate less than Developed countries of donation like U.S., U.K., and Canada. Korea showed 0.53% of total GDP.

According to CAF(Charities Aid Foundation) based on U.K., World donation index focused on donation activities more than the amount of donations. U.S. is number 5. Korea is on 81th among 153 countries. After 2000, when Korea overcame IMF, financial crisis in the late 1990s, the amount of donation is growing but still lack attention to donation culture.


2. To whom do you donate? Korea: to poor people hard to manage their life. U.S.: To the all parts of society

According to data from Giving Korea and Giving USA in 2012, the religious communities takes the biggest ratio of total donation of $298.42 billion in U.S. followed by charity welfare communities(21%), and education institutes(13%).

In comparison, the religious communities takes the biggest ratio of total donation of $11.2 billion in U.S. followed by charity welfare communities (29.1%), and private sectors (19.8%). Through this we can see that the people in Korea and U.S. through religious communities, expressing their religious conviction into donation.

However, Korea shows relatively low ratio of donation through culture & art, public/society, medical institutes, education institutes compared to U.S. Korea is dominantly focused on donation through religious communities and charity welfare communities more than 6,70% compared to U.S., where it show more spreadout ratio throughout sectors.

According to the survey conducted on our own by SurveyMonkey shows that U.S. started to donate for individual conviction and religious reason so as to meet social equality, and it is active on all parts of the society. In case of Korea, more than half of the people started to donate to help the poor people, and especially is more focused on donation to socially week people such as children, lower income level, solitary old people in the form of welfare, charity, international refugee aid, which indicates that they focus on donating to people in more difficult situations than themselves.

3. Belief that the usage of donation is much more reliable when nonprofit organizations generate less operation costs.

According to the survey done by ourselves, 68% of respondents replied that they require an explanation to account for money spent and process of their donation. Thus, they wanted to know if their money is used on right purpose or if it is taken by donation foundation. It is common that when people donate through specific foundation of nonprofit organizations, it is more reliable when their operation cost is low. In fact that is not true because there is no relation between the size of operation cost and reliability of usage of donation.

However the operation cost is essential to effective operation of foundation and corresponds to the communication with donators. According to a column, <Charities must battle public misconceptions about overhead cost) they argue that they need to come up with a community where they can change the peoples perception that the low operation cost is good. With low operation cost, they cannot hire good people and invest on the needed resource, leading them to not solving any serious social problems. Every foundation and nonprofit organizations must present statement of accounting and inspection report of their expenditures and the donators can easily check where their donation is used.


4. U.S. encourages donation, when Korea makes people to hesitate

Mr. Kim, a business owner in Korea donated 20 billion dollars to a University and received a tax bill which imposed him $14 billion of gift tax assessment. In Korea, what one did for good deed came back with bombard of tax!

In U.S., we can see that the individual donation is more that corporate donation. According to a research by giving Korea and Giving U.S.A., Individual donation in U.S. in 2011 was $211.44 billion, 73% of total. In comparison, individual donation in Korea is $7.1 billions which was $3 billion higher than corporate donation, but it was still low in its ratio, 63%. Also, in case of U.S. and Europe, Noblesse Oblige is a common concept.

The high individual donation and high amount of donation can be explained for these reasons. Basically, in U.S. children learn about Noblesse Oblige that they should always help poorer people. Donation is obligation and responsibility as a member of a society.

Also, we can think about benefits of donation like reduction of tax. In U.S. they set limits to 50% of donator’s income, and can give a tax deduction and tax can be carried forward to next month. If Mr.Kim had donated in U.S. the government can consider his donation as $100 of total income of $20 billion, and would tax him of his income of $100, not to mention $4 billion to be paid for next month.

Whereas in Korea, according to new taxation law, the government can abates tax on donator, up to 38%.

However, in order to establish wholesome donation culture, there should be increase in ratio of individual donation. But still, in order to encourage people to individually donate and to donate in big amount, there needs to be various forms of tax support for donators.


5. We want new way of donation.

Luckily donation methods are catching up with new trends to break some of its prejudices. Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, donators can catch two birds with one stone, having fun as they donate –game service and to open where they used their donation. 94% of respondents were optimistic about the new ways of donation, using application and Social networks to donate, and 75% were actually donating through donation application like BigWalk. BigWalk( is an application that let you donate as you play games. When a user walks 100m, gets 1 noon, which let the user to donate organizations that support free movement of disabled children by producing prosthetic legs. This game-like aspect encourages donators to donate, which leads to more donation and to new trends of donation.

According to self-study more than 88% had donated in a year and more than 90% of people wanted to donate in future.

Many people gave new ideas, donation culture and sharing culture should be established, not in a purpose to show off or to give a lot of self credit

According to an article, donators (92%) were more satisfied with their life and health than non-donators (76%). Not to mention the reliability of the survey, it would make one’s life more fruitful when they care about other people’s lives. The world is ready to be warmer in their hearts.


You don’t donate when you have enough.
Donate, when your heart is warm.

-Donation Application

-Donation Foundation
Save the Children(
World Vision(

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    Data source

    • Giving
    • Newsjelly
    • giving


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