Austrian donors are expected to have given 625 million euro by the end of 2016, according to the Austrian Fundraising Association’s annual donation report Spendenbericht 2016, released on Giving Tuesday in Vienna.
Donations are expected to maintain the same record high achieved in 2015. Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of all Austrians give and the most popular causes remain child support, animals and national emergency relief. The report also indicates that around 15–20 million euros were given to support refugees.
While citizens living in the south of the country tend to give at a higher level, giving is most prominent in the east. The report also shows an increase in take-up of tax-effective giving, with almost one in three euros donated now deducted from income tax.
“Historically, Austria is a country of small donations”, said Gunther Lutschinger, chief executive of the Austrian Fundraising Association. “In comparison with other European countries, we fall behind some of the leading philanthropic states, donating just 72 euro per capita compared with the 260 euro per capita donated in the UK.”
“But solidarity is growing. A broad range of societal engagement is necessary to ensure acceptance within society.”
While this year’s report has been widely welcomed, the Association also raised concerns about the government’s proposed development of the national tax deduction scheme. A new law, which comes into effect on 01 January 2017, will mean that the administrative burden processing such donations is much higher for charities. There is little public awareness about the impending changes.
Lutschinger added: “We are calling on government for a rapid and broad public information campaign for the public from the Ministry of Finance. In addition, the state should contribute to the additional costs for the non-profit organisations.”