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Centre for Philanthropic Studies: 'never before so little to charities'

19 June 2024
The Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU Amsterdam presented the latest findings from the 'Giving in the Netherlands' study today. This biennial research tracks Dutch giving behaviors and provides insights into philanthropic trends and changes.

In 2022, the Netherlands donated a total of €5.3 billion to charities, a decrease from previous years. As a percentage of GDP, donations were only 0.62% – the lowest recorded level. Companies donated €1.8 billion, significantly less than the €2.2 billion in 2020, possibly due to high inflation and economic uncertainty. Only 40% of companies donated in 2022, down from 61% two years earlier. 

Increase among households 
Despite the decline in corporate giving, the number of households donating rose: 76% contributed money or goods to charities, up from 73% in 2020. Households donated a total of €2.2 billion, bolstered by campaigns like the one for Ukraine, which raised €184 million. Adjusted for inflation, however, the average gift amount decreased. 

Wealthy households donate less 
There's also a trend where wealthy households donate a smaller portion of their wealth compared to less affluent households. This can partly be attributed to how charities engage this group. Wealthy donors often show interest in impact investing, wanting to see the tangible results and impact of their contributions. 

Contribution from lotteries and investment returns 
Notably, contributions from lotteries and investment returns remained consistent with previous years. Health-related charities continue to be popular among donors. 

What does this mean for the future? 
This year's results indicate potential future changes. New government policies to reduce tax deductions for donations may strain charity revenues. However, long-term prospects appear brighter, thanks to expected legacies from the baby boomer generation with no kids, who intend to leave part of their wealth to charities.  

For more detailed information, please visit the the page of the Center for Philanthropic Studies

Contact the VU Press Office