Germans donated around €3.8 billion between January and September in 2021 – the year of the country’s flood disaster, according to a survey for the German Donation Council. This is the biggest total recorded since the survey began in 2005, and a 14% increase in total donation volume compared to the same period in 2020.
Around 16.8 million people donated money to charitable organisations or churches between January and September 2021 – a rise of 8% compared to the same period in 2020. And, contrary to the long-term trend, the percentage of donors in the population rose by 1.8 percentage points to reach 25.3% compared to the same period in the previous year.
Highest average donation size since 2005
The average donation size was €40 – the highest value since the survey began in 2005, while average frequency of giving per donor remained stable at 5.6 donations compared to the same period in the previous year.
At 78.5% (75% in the previous year), most donations again went towards humanitarian aid, and in particular emergency and disaster aid. With the exception of “other humanitarian aid”, all other parts of humanitarian aid (such as long-term development aid or child and youth welfare) show declines in both the percentage and absolute donation amounts.
However, not all areas of emergency and disaster relief benefitted. In particular, there was a clear decline in donations for refugees. Here, the volume of donations fell by 30% compared to the 2020 observation period (from €297 million to €207 million). Behind this were a reduction in donations (-4%), a lower donation frequency per donor (-18%) and a lower average donation (-12%).
Impact of flood disaster on donations
According to the report, it is therefore reasonable to assume that the increased total volume of donations for emergency and disaster relief was primarily for flood relief projects. This assumption is also supported by the regional distribution on the donation projects. Local and national projects were strongly supported and represent a total of 66% of the donation volume, up from the previous year’s 57%.
In addition to humanitarian aid, the Germans donated more to animal welfare (an additional €9 million) and environmental and nature conservation (an extra €10 million). Sports suffered significant losses again, receiving €16 million euros), as did cultural and historical preservation (dropping €24 million).
Donations by age group
The over 70s continue to donate the most, with their share of total donation volume rising from 43.2% to 44.5%. The number of donors in this age group also grew by 343 thousand people, and average donation volume rose from €288 to €315. However, donor numbers also increased in most other age groups.
Dr. Max Mälzer, Managing Director of the German Donation Council said:
“The significantly increased donation behaviour of significantly more donors is fantastic evidence of the solidarity of the Germans, even in very difficult times.”
“The age group 70-plus, which is already enormously important for the total donation volume, is again setting itself apart. It is all the more to be hoped that the increasing number of donors in the younger age groups will continue. This is a hopeful development.”
Overall, the German Donation Council expects the 2021 calendar year to have been a good one for donations with a significant increase in volume. Even with a realistically optimistic forecast, it expects to see an increase of 8% to over €5.8 billion in total.
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