The French gave more to associations and foundations in 2020 through one-off and Direct Debit donations than in any other year during the last decade, a study has shown, as they rallied to show their support during the Covid-19 crisis.
The 2020 Generosity Barometer, produced by Oktos for France générosités and based on data for 56 of its member organisations, reveals that they saw an ‘exceptional’ increase in donations of 13.7% compared to 2019. And, while the public focused their donations during the first few months of the pandemic on research, health, and solidarity-related causes, as the widespread impact of the crisis became clearer, the focus then widened to all causes. This resulted in an increase in non-Covid-related donations of 8.1% in 2020.
The volume of direct debit donations rose 5.1% year on year, while one-off donations rose 19.6%. One-off digital donations rose particularly steeply – up 72% on 2019. These represented 26% of all one-off donations given in 2020, compared to 18% in 2019, while over the past three years, they have increased in number by 50%.
The largest proportion of one-off donations were given in the last quarter of the year (39%), with the second quarter (April-June) accounting for 25%, and both quarters one and three for 18% each. The majority (46%) were under €150, with average donation amounts varying by channel at €80 for those given by mail and telephone, €126 for online donations, and €149 for annual direct debit donations.
Organisations supporting the most in need particularly benefitted from the rise in one-off giving – Solidarity France for example saw a 45% increase in 2020 compared to the previous year, helping it meet the needs of the most vulnerable during the crisis.
While more donors gave online last year, the report also shows how charities turned to online channels to raise funds. October 2020 saw gaming event Z Event raise 5.7 million donations for Amnesty International, while February 2021’s Secours Populaire Français’s digital raffle Don’actions prompted 47,000 people to take part, and raised €900,000. The annual Les Banques Alimentaires National Food Bank Collection, which took place online in November, collected 1 million meals in three weeks.
The Barometer also looks forward. Now, France générosités states, in addition to dealing with the health emergency, other needs linked to the economic and social consequences of the crisis also require greater focus. These include the increased demand for food aid, and the issues of social isolation, dropping out of school, and mental distress, the need to continue medical research unrelated to Covid-19, increased need for international aid for populations vulnerable to the virus, and also a need to learn lessons from this crisis for the environment and biodiversity.
All of these issues, it says, require an increase in resources, which largely falls to the generosity of the public, but with consumption having fallen in 2020, many households will have made savings – estimated at nearly €100 billion over the whole year.
Pierre Siquier, President of France générosités, is now calling on donors to continue their support, saying:
“We ask French donors to renew their confidence in associations and foundations by continuing their commitment and generosity 2020. We need them to continue to stand with the sector as it responds to the consequences of this crisis.”
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