A new comparative report exploring charitable giving trends in six European nations reveals distinctive differences in the way that nonprofits raise funds across the continent.
Among the key findings, the study reveals that charitable organisations in Germany raise twice as large a share of their voluntary income through corporate gifts than those in France and ten times as much as those in the UK. Organisations in France and the Netherlands generate over a third of that income from private donations, while those in Spain, Switzerland and the UK raise more than €1 in every €2 from foundations.
The Swiss philanthropic market is the smallest in the study (raising €3.45 million annually compared with €51.29m in the UK and €22.08m in Germany), and yet the average amount given per person is second only to the UK.
The study, produced by StiftungSchweiz, the largest digital philanthropy platform in Switzerland, highlights areas of commonality and contrast in charitable giving trends. Drawing data from a range of sources, the report acknowledges the challenges in identifying comparable figures across European markets and emphasises the need for more robust sector research.
Dr. Peter Buss, Founder and CEO of StiftungSchweiz says:
“Charitable giving differs considerably at a national level, but there are some fascinating trends and differences noted in our research. Foundations clearly play an important role in income generation across Europe, but there is not always clarity about how those funds are allocated. Donations from individuals are significant, with a large number of digital platforms making giving even more accessible. However, the share of money given digitally remains a small fraction of that income, suggesting there is far greater scope for growth.”
With voluntary income of €22 billion, Germany is the second largest philanthropic market in the study. Corporate giving is particularly prevalent, with companies giving 43% of fundraised income – as much as donations from private individuals (23%) and foundations (20%) combined (excluding church foundations). Second only to the UK, Germany also a considerable share of state lottery money (13%). The report also references ‘great potential’ for growth in legacy donations (charitable bequests).
The charitable sector in France raises €9.62 billion and is more reliant on donations from private donors (36%) than any other country in the report. This is closely followed by income from foundations (29%), which the report describes as ‘surprising’ since foundations are relatively new to the market. Bequests are also very strong, raising 11% of donated income.
In the Netherlands, €6.19 billion is gifted annually and the donation sub-markets are fairly balanced. Income from companies (31%) and private donors (34%) are almost equally strong, with lotteries yielding around €1 in €10 given (9%).
The smallest market in the study, foundations contribute more than half (53%) of the total amount given in Switzerland (€3.45 billion). In general, despite the disparity in the overall size of the market, the UK and Switzerland are very similar in their donation trends. The market share of corporate giving (3%) is modest compared to Germany, France and the Netherlands, although the report authors question if there is a lack of complete data available.
Raising €3.77 across all channels, Spain’s nonprofits rely heavily on income from foundations, at 62%. In comparison, corporate donations are marginal (8%) – and the author questions whether companies may donate through corporate foundations. Almost a quarter (23%) of donations are given from individuals.
The UK is the largest market in the study, both in absolute and relative terms, raising €51.29 billion annually – more than all the other countries in the study combined. The largest share is contributed by foundations at 51%, followed by private donors (23%) and lotteries (17%). Corporate giving is relatively small in comparison to other markets at just 4%.
The report was developed with support from Brakeley Ltd, Brakeley GMBH, Cred Funding, Han Valk, LVWB Fundraising and Zohar Consulting.
For more see the full report.
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