25% of French people, rising to 51% of high earners, have already made at least one donation this year, with many more intending to give during 2021, according to Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil’s annual barometer, Solidarity in the face of the coronavirus.
Half of French people, and more than three-quarters (77%) of those with higher incomes, plan to donate by the end of the year.
These are similar figures to 2020, where according to the foundation’s first Covid barometer, 26% donated between January and May in 2020, with 49% of the French making a donation by the end of the year, rising to 77% of high earners.
2020 also saw average donation values increase overall, reaching €395 (compared to €300 in 2019) and rising to €2,463 among high earners (compared to 2019’s €2,140).
The study also reveals that 31% of French donors expect to give more in 2021 compared to last year, with 52% expecting to give the same amount, and 13% intending to give less.
The most popular cause is helping the poor, with 36% planning to give to nonprofits working in this area this year – a rise of 9% on 2020. Health and medical research comes second at 34%, followed by helping animals (25%) and childhood, youth and education, which rises by six points among the wealthiest, coming in fourth place with 24% planning to give to this cause. The environment comes fifth, with 22%.
Stéphane Dauge, communication and resources director of Apprentis d’Auteuil commented:
“We feared last year that the pandemic and the first lockdown would hamper the generosity of the French. It has not happened. The stability in intention to give reflected by this survey is encouraging. The economic and social impact of the health crisis has increased awareness of the major role that associations and foundations like ours play with the most vulnerable. The French are showing a willingness to support our actions.”
However, while people are keen to give, solidarity among the French seems to be dwindling with less people (52%) expressing the desire to be more united this year, down from 65% in 2020.
The study also highlights a lack of awareness of tax incentives available to donors. In France, some donations to charitable and humanitarian associations allow the French to benefit from a reduction on their income tax. For example, last year saw the ceiling for eligible donations under the “Coluche law” (which applies to associations helping the poor) rise to €1,000, up from €552.
However, 84% of French people are currently unaware that this measure has been renewed for 2021, including 58% of high-income earners. Awareness was also low in 2020, when only 39% of French people overall were aware of the increase.