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World Calls Upon Billionaires to Contribute

Shrinking World

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (April 20, 2020) -- In results released today by research agency Glocalities and international advocacy organization Global Citizen, a global survey reveals that 81% of the world population is calling upon billionaires to contribute and help close the financing gap for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including healthcare for all. Conducted earlier this year in 25 countries among 26,786 people, the survey results are more urgent than ever now that the world is amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Glocalities Research Director Martijn Lampert says: “There are more than 2,000 billionaires worldwide, who have immense financial means that can make the difference in assisting governments and health workers fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Now the world population calls upon them to show their true colours and step in to save lives. Health workers, citizens, governments and international organizations cannot overcome the current crisis alone. All talents are needed for supporting society and ensuring a sustainable future. The time has come for billionaires to make a positive difference and pay their fair share.’’

The Reuters Foundation published this article about our survey report:

In response to the global pandemic, Global Citizen launched an urgent campaign, culminating in an historic global broadcast called One World: Together At Home—in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. The campaign, which focused on increasing resources and support for frontline health workers around the world, has announced $127 million in commitments to date. Investors, changemakers, and foundation leaders are being urged to actualize their giving and invest quickly in related efforts like stronger health systems and vaccine development.

Health, poverty, and development are closely related. 9 out of 10 people who support the World Health Organization call upon billionaires to contribute. WHO supporters do not only prioritize healthcare for all, but also the related SDGs clean water and sanitation, ending poverty, quality education, and climate action. The call for more billionaires to step up comes at a time when public financing is facing increasing strain in response to COVID-19. The resulting economic crisis also demonstrates how interwoven economic growth is with global health and development.

Billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, Giorgio Armani, and Jack Dorsey are already stepping up in a big way in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Among the Chinese population, there was a rise in the appeal of billionaire philanthropist and Alibaba founder Jack Ma from 59% to 64% amidst the lockdowns, due to his financial contributions and efforts for providing medical equipment and developing a vaccine in countering the pandemic. 

For more information about this earlier study and the report, see:

Quote from Chris Stadler, Board Chair, Global Citizen: “The billionaires in the world are worth a combined total of $10 trillion. Their wealth is greater than that of 60% of the world’s population. This survey demonstrates the collective desire shown globally for them to step in and help, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. People like Jack Dorsey are stepping up and giving big and it’s inspiring. Global Citizen is on a mission to work with these high net worth individuals to help close the $350 billion gap needed annually in order to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.” 

The survey also found that 46% of people globally say that billionaires should contribute by making voluntary donations (philanthropy) and 35% say that billionaires should pay a wealth tax for funding sustainable development. Younger and higher educated people globally are more in favour of voluntary donations by billionaires. The study concludes that mobilizing the “social rich’’ is the key and a first step for ensuring progress. This group not only includes billionaires, but a larger group of affluent and influential people globally, including millionaires, celebrities, public officials, and leaders of NGOs, companies and communities.  

Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia, and board chair for The International Peace Institute (IPI): “Now, more than ever, we need to stand behind the Sustainable Development Goals. This crisis has reminded us that we are all global citizens. This means that everyone must do more - and not just governments - to support the work of those seeking to achieve the SDGs, including critical institutions like the WHO. The efforts of individuals like Bill Gates and Jack Ma should serve as an example to others.” 

About the survey:

The annual Glocalities survey was conducted online in 25 countries between January 23 and March 13, among 26,786 people. The representative survey was held in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA and Vietnam. These countries together cover 62% of the world population and represent 83% of the world economy. The surveys were conducted through the online research panels of Dynata, a fieldwork provider that is specialized in conducting international fieldwork around the globe. Quotas were set beforehand and the datasets were weighted according to national census data.

About Glocalities:

Glocalities is an Amsterdam-based international research agency that specializes in values and lifestyle research all over the world. The Glocalities research program, that started in 2014, now covers 32 countries based on interviews with more than 228,758 people. NGOs, national and international companies and the public sector use Glocalities insights to connect with audiences, based on a deep understanding of trends, people and cultures. Glocalities research consultants provide international insights through the online World of Glocalities Insights Solution and in workshops, presentations and reports. Free reports on a multitude of topics such as the Sustainable Development Goals are available on our website. For more information, visit

About Global Citizen:

Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality, and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards, which can be redeemed for tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. To date, the actions of our community, along with high-level advocacy efforts and work with partners, has resulted in commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $48 billion, affecting the lives of more than 2.25 billion people by 2030. For more information, visit

Related Glocalities reports and videos on the global rich, millennials and the SDGs:

Facts about billionaires:

There are 2,150 billionaires in the world, worth a combined $10 trillion. Their wealth is greater than that of 60% of the world’s population, according to Oxfam. At the same time, the poorest 59 countries in the world have an annual funding gap of close to $350 billion to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Source: Global Citizen.

Martijn Lampert, Research Director Glocalities, says:

“There are 2,150 billionaires worldwide, who have immense financial means that can make the difference in assisting governments and health workers fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Now the world population calls upon them to show their true colors and step in to save lives.

Health workers, citizens, governments, and international organizations cannot overcome the current challenges alone. All talents are needed for supporting society and ensuring a sustainable future. In times of crisis billionaires and the global affluent can and should assist in solving the urgent needs of the world population.

The framework for doing this – the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including good health for all – has already been agreed upon by leaders from all countries in 2015 and is to be achieved by 2030. The time has come for billionaires to make a positive difference, be part of the solution and pay their fair share.’’


International Media Coverage

In cooperation with the Global Citizen, we released the study. The research results were covered in many countries after the publication of this article. Here are some of the top newspapers that published the report:


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For more information and press inquiries:
Martijn Lampert
Research Director Glocalities

T +31 20 58 98 370


Martijn Lampert

Research Director

+31 (0)20 589 83 73

Panos Papadongonas

Research Consultant

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