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Virtue is its Own Reward: More than Six in Ten Hongkongers Contribute to Charity, MasterCard Survey Reveals

August 1, 2015 Financial No Comments Email Email

Living in a cosmopolitan metropolis like Hong Kong and enjoying the prosperity of this city, are people willing to share with those in need? The latest MasterCard survey shows that Hongkongers are in fact the biggest givers in Greater China – More than six in ten local respondents (64.6%) contributed to a charity last year, surpassing their counterparts in both China and Taiwan.

In Hong Kong, consumers are in general more benevolent than most of their Asia Pacific counterparts. The vast majority (87.0%) of local respondents plan to make about the same or more contributions to charity than last year, topping the region together with Singaporeans.

Among those who contributed, local consumers have the highest affinity for causes focused on “serious illness” such as cancer or heart disease (25.7%), followed by “global/ other country natural disaster relief” (24.5%) and “poverty/ starvation alleviation” (23.5%). Interestingly, while “children’s health and education” is the most important cause in Asia Pacific respondents’ hearts, Hong Kong is the only exception in the region, where respondents did not mention it as one of their top three causes.

When asked about how much they feel comfortable donating each year, 61.3% of local respondents are likely to make up to US$100 individual donations, whereas 8.7% claimed they would make a sizable donation of more than US$500, ranking the second place in the whole region.

The results are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2014, with a minimum of 500 people aged 18-64, in each of the 14 markets.

Other highlights in Asia Pacific:

  • Overall, more than half (53.2%) of Asia Pacific consumers donate to charity, with those in Thailand (70.5%), Vietnam (70.4%), Hong Kong (64.6%) and Indonesia (63.2%) more likely to do so.
  • The Japanese are the least likely to donate to charity with only 16.2% saying they are doing so.
  • Japanese consumers list ‘Local Natural Disaster Relief’ as the number one cause they would donate to.
  • Across all markets, those who are older (50-64 years old – 59.1%) are more likely to donate to charity than those in the 18-24 years old age group (45.4%).

Anna Yip, Head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard said, “Charitable giving behavior differs around the world and is influenced by various factors such as culture, age, level of disposable income, as well as the presence of conflict. For example, in Hong Kong people tend to donate to organizations associated with serious illness. Perhaps this is due to increased awareness in a more developed economy where the population tends to live to an older age. Nevertheless, we are glad to see that Hong Kong consumers are eager to engage in philanthropy and contribute to charity for the benefit of the wider society.”

The findings lend support to MasterCard’s Purchase with Purpose initiatives, which involve cardholders in the company’s efforts to give back to the community whenever they use their MasterCard cards. A percentage of the cost of an item sold on the Purchase with Purpose platform is channeled to causes supporting women and education – giving the underprivileged a chance at learning a skill, championing further education, raising awareness of health issues, supporting the cause of environmental protection, among others. Last year, MasterCard partnered with Club 21 to raise funds for the Hong Kong Women Development Association as well as COMO Hotels and Resorts to support empowering programs in Bali, Bangkok, Bhutan, London, Miami, Singapore, The Maldives, Turks and Caicos.

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