8.5 billion euros is the amount donated in France in 2019. In its second edition, the Panorama national des générosités (a review of philanthropy), produced by the Fondation de France Philanthropy Observatory1 reveals five key trends over the long term.
The global amount donated by individuals increases, despite a drop in donor numbers
Since 2015, the number of French households declaring donations under the income tax and real estate wealth tax regimes is decreasing slowly. Tax deductions have been filed by 4.9 million tax payers in 2019, compared to 5.7 million in 2015 – a decrease which has been reinforced by the transition from the former wealth tax to the real estate wealth tax. Nevertheless, the average donation increased from 450 euros in 2015 to 560 euros in 2019, maintaining the overall volume of gifts. Almost 2.8 billion euros of donations were declared thanks to income tax deductions in 2019, 5% more than in 2015. This growth stems from the wealthiest households. Age is also an important factor: in 2019, 32% of donors were 70 or older, compared to 11% of donors between the age of 30 and 39.
Corporate support sees strong growth, particularly in small companies
Both the amount of corporate sponsorship and the number of corporate sponsors increased significantly over the past ten years. In 2010-2019, donations from companies rose by an exceptional 119% increase. Corporate engagement in declared and non-declared giving is estimated at 3.5 billion euros in 2019, with significant growth in support from small companies. Companies with fewer than 10 staff trebled their donations in eight years.
While large companies remain the largest contributors to sponsorship, their contribution dropped by eight percentage points of overall donations. In 2019, the amount of taxes deducted was 62% of the total amount, against 54% in 2018.
Planned giving (bequests, notarized donations, life insurance) is on the rise
According to data collected from more than 300 organizations, planned giving is estimated to have reached over 1.25 billion euros in 2019, an amount that has shown a continuous increase in the 2007-2019 period, as have donations. Cross-cutting analysis of planned giving and standard donations from the organizations surveyed reveals how complementary the two forms of giving are. Whereas standard donations are often allocated to humanitarian or religious organizations, planned giving often goes to specialist research and community organizations.
Fundraising now takes a variety of forms, but traditional channels remain robust
Online drives can help diversify fundraising activities and reach out to new donors but the traditional channels are still dominant for nonprofits. They include collections in public areas and private premises, street fundraising (recurring donations via a standing order), fundraising events and so on. Despite a decrease in mailshot volumes, this method is still largely used to raise funds.
Although expanding fast, online donations do not take pride of place in current fundraising, even though the pandemic consolidated online giving in 2020.
Other methods are being developed, such as “cashless” donations (such as viewing ads and giving up loyalty points) or embedded giving (microdonations by rounding up a purchase at the till or on line, or rounding down one’s salary or bank account balance at the end of the month).
Donations in kind remain a non-negligible source for some nonprofits
Food, clothing, furniture and also works of art... According to the sources and uses of funds statements from the 54 organizations surveyed, these are some of the donations in kind, estimated at 598 million euros at least in 2019. Added to these are the 7.7 million euros donated in kind by public organizations. Food banks, including Banques Alimentaires, le Secours Populaire et les Restaurants du Cœur are the main beneficiaries of these donations.
1 Survey produced in partnership with Admical, Association française des Fundraisers, Centre d'Etude et de Recherche sur la Philanthropie; French Foundation Center, Don en Confiance, France Générosités, Institut des Dirigeants d'Associations et Fondations and Institut National de la Jeunesse et de l'Education Populaire.
What is the philanthropy observatory ?
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