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Individuals and businesses in France gave a combined €8.5 billion in 2019, according to the second edition of the National Panorama of Generosity report.
Produced by the Fondation de France’s Philanthropy Observatory, and looking at all forms of giving, the report shows that individuals accounted for 59% of the total, at €5 billion, and with an average gift size of €560. Businesses gave €3.5 billion – an increase of 119% since 2010.
The three main sectors benefitting the most from this generosity were the health and social sector, which received 40%, religion (around 23%), and education and research (19%). The environment received just 4%.
Donations & donor numbers
The report highlights five long-term trends. Firstly, an increase in the overall amount donated from individuals and declared for tax purposes, despite a drop in the number of donors. These declared donations accounted for over €2.9 billion of the overall total in 2019. Most of this, almost €2.8 billion, came through the income tax framework.
Since 2015, the number of households declaring donations for income tax as well as wealth tax (ISF) and real estate wealth (IFI) has continuously declined. While 5.7 million households benefitted from tax reductions because of their donations in 2015, this fell to 4.9 million households in 2019 – a 5% decrease, the report says, reinforced by France’s switch from ISF to IFI in 2018.
However, while the number of donors declaring their donations has decreased, an increase in the average donation, which rose from 450 euros in 2015 to 560 euros in 2019, helped to maintain the overall amount given.
A second trend highlighted is strong growth in corporate support, particularly among small businesses. Overall, the number of corporate supporters quadrupled between 2010 and 2019, from 28,000 to 104,000.
The 119% growth in corporate donations seen during this time has been helped by a rise in giving among small companies. Companies with one to nine employees increased their donations threefold over that eight year period, from €31 million in 2010 to €100 million. While large companies remain the largest business contributors, the amount they give has fallen by 8 points in the same timeframe, now representing 54% of donations (down from 62%).
Pledged donations, known as libéralités in France, such as those given through bequests and life insurance, are also on the rise. According to data from more than 300 organisations, these were estimated at more than €1.25 billion in 2019, an amount that increased continuously between 2007 and 2019.
Online giving methods & donations in kind
The study also found that traditional fundraising channels such as direct mail, face to face and events remain most popular for French nonprofit organisations, although online and other methods such as the donation of loyalty points, micro donations, crowdfunding, and payroll giving are all growing. €80m was collected via crowdfunding in 2019 for example, while microdonations accounted for €7.4m – doubling year on year from 2018 to 2019.
The final trend highlighted in the study is that donations in kind, such as food and clothing, remain a significant resource for some associations, accounting for at least €598m in 2019.
Giving in 2020
The study also includes a brief look at giving during the pandemic year of 2020. It shows that appeals organised by foundations raised at least €155 million, while the public raised more than €218 million through crowdfunding to support those impacted by the crisis. 56 member associations and foundations of France Générosités, a partner in the study, registered an increase of 13.7% in donations between 2019 and 2020.
Axelle Davezac, managing director of the Fondation de France says:
“The state of play drawn up by this panorama is very positive and underlines the importance of generosity in France. This is a strong sign and encouraging for our society and also testifies to the recognition of the action taken by the sector associations and foundations, of which the past eighteen months have shown the essential role in facing the immense social needs in our country.”
The study was first carried out in 2018. This edition was carried out in partnership with Admical, the French Association of Fundraisers, the Center d’Etude et de Recherche sur la Philanthropie; the French Center of Foundations, Don en Confiance, France Générosités, the Institute of Directors of Associations and Foundations and the National Institute of Youth and Popular Education.
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