New legislation in Finland means individuals can now benefit from tax deductions if they donate to a university, college, polytechnic or university fund.


The establishment must receive public funding in the European Economic area to qualify, and must use the donations to promote art or science. Individuals must donate a minimum of 850 euros to receive a tax deduction, with the deduction matching the donation amount.


The maximum donation amount that qualifies under the legislation is 500,000 euros to one educational establishment, and until the end of 2017 the government will boost donations through match funding.


The Finnish government last incentivised donations to higher educational establishments in 2009-2011, when donors were able to deduct up to 250,000 from their income. Tax authority statistics show that donors deducted 16.5 million euros during this time.


Pia Tornikoski, secretary general of the Finnish Fundraising Association said: “The fundraising campaign five years ago showed that incentives from the Government can encourage philanthropy. Finnish universities gained great results and it would be good to see giving programmes of this nature extended to the nonprofit sector too.”