Germans donated around €5.4 billion in 2020 – the second highest total since 2005, yet fewer people gave.
According to the GfK study “Balance of Help”, which is carried out annually on behalf of the German Donation Council, despite the pandemic, the value of donations rose by 5.1% last year.
The strongest rates of increase were recorded during the first hard lockdown in the country, with people giving 13% more in March 2020 than in the same month in 2019, and during the second lockdown in late autumn / winter. This saw donors give 7% in November compared to the previous year, and 18% more in December.
The average donation in 2020 was three euros higher than the previous year, reaching the record level of €40. Donors gave an average of seven times each – a level first reached in 2019.
However, despite this good news, fewer Germans donated – around 19 million in total, which corresponds to 28.5% of the population. This is about half a million people less than the previous year.
Those aged 70-plus still give the most, at almost 44% of the total volume, and at an average of €402 per donor. Both of these figures also rose year on year, yet this age group also saw the greatest reduction in the number of donors at 209,000 less in 2020.
Donor numbers dropped in all age groups, with the exception of 30 to 39 year old donors, which alone remained stable.
Dr. Max Mälzer, Managing Director of the German Donation Council, commented:
“The 70+ age group is again and again setting itself apart from the others. Given the decline in donors in this age group, this is a massive risk for the overall donation market.”
Overall, humanitarian aid charities received the most, at 76% of donations. The strongest winner was emergency and disaster aid, which saw its share of the total donation volume rise from almost 15% to almost 18%: an increase of €149 million in absolute terms. However, more was also donated for other humanitarian purposes than in the same period last year, namely child and youth welfare, education and long-term development aid.
Animal welfare (+€88 million) and cultural and historical preservation (+€22 million) also recorded significant growth in absolute terms. In contrast, donations to sports-related charities dropped by €76 million, halving its percentage share of the total donation volume (3.0% in 2019 to 1.4% in 2020).
Among faith-based charities, Protestant organisations recorded a slightly decreasing share of the total market (minus 0.5 percentage points), while the share of the income of Catholic organisations increased by 1%.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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