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Individual giving continues to grow in Romania, with text and Direct Debit donations reaching both an all-time high in 2020, according to an analysis by ARC Romania.
ARC Romania examined the most recent available data on text donations, Direct Debit giving (both of which it also administers) and the take up of tax incentives in the country. It found that the number of individual donors supporting the sector has consistently increased year by year, with donations volumes also continuing to rise.
Text donations reached an all-time high in 2020 with charities sending out over 5.3 million messages and collecting €12.5 million during the pandemic. This is a continuation of an upwards trend for this channel, with both messages sent and donations received via SMS almost doubling every successive year between 2015 and 2020.
Direct Debit donations also reached an all-time high, both in terms of the total amount given (€2.87 million) and the average donation amount (€4.78). This was despite a sharp drop in the acquisition of new regular donors during the pandemic and a small decrease in the number of existing donors (-2.4%).
The percentage of individuals using the 3.5% tax incentive reached 36% in 2019 (the latest year for which data is currently available). This allows employees to redirect 3.5% of their income tax to any NGO providing state-licensed social services, and while take up remains fairly low, according to the data this too has seen continuous growth since 2016.
Lev Fejes, Head of Research, ARC Romania, commented:
“The data paints a positive picture for fundraising in Romania, with untapped potential for each of these donation mechanisms as well as an increase in the number of organisations successfully using them.
“However, there are some aspects whose post-pandemic evolution is uncertain, such as how donor motivation will change, what the mid- and long-term impact on donation behaviour will be, or the extent of the migration of nonprofits to online mechanisms. Similarly, the effects of the frequent and unpredictable political and economic changes in a context of unconsolidated European democracy are difficult to gauge and may add to the mix of variables that will influence the Romanian fundraising context and activity.”