Dutch charities received €5.6billion in donations in the pandemic year of 2020, according to the latest Giving in the Netherlands report from the Center for Philanthropic Studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Companies in particular gave more than before.
In total, Dutch companies gave €2.2 billion to good causes in 2020 – up from €1.9 billion 2018.
In addition, households gave €2.1 billion in 2020 – 300 million euros less than in 2018. Charities also received more donations from endowed foundations and from bequests.
According to the report, the rise in corporate giving was striking because 45% of companies in the Netherlands saw less profit, dealt with temporary closures and/or had to let go some of their staff due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The report shows that in fact, companies affected by the pandemic did not donate or sponsor less compared to those who were not affected by the crisis.
2020 saw companies give €395 million to health-related charitable causes, and a similar amount – €387 million – to sports and recreation. These causes were also the most popular choices for corporate sponsorship and giving.
The drop in donations from households in 2020 was mainly due to smaller households supporting a smaller number of charities, the report says. This has been a trend since 2011, but was accelerated by the corona measures in 2020. Contributing to this, charitable organisations were also unable to hold as many fundraising campaigns due to the Covid-19 measurements. Among donating households, the total amount of donations has remained about the same since 2018. The percentage of households that have supported charities online has also hardly changed.
The study also looked at volunteering. It found that due to the corona measures, this decreased in 2020 with 44% of the population engaged in volunteer work, compared to 49% in 2018. The nature of volunteering also changed during the pandemic, with more online volunteers. However, the increase in online volunteering was smaller than the decrease seen in volunteering in person. In particular, the number of volunteers for sports clubs, schools, and in care or nursing decreased, while there were more volunteers in district and neighbourhood associations.
Since 1995, the Giving in the Netherlands survey has mapped the giving behaviour of households, individuals, funds, companies and charity lotteries every two years.
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