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Germans donate less money on average than other Europeans

Nuremberg, 21. June 2011

International survey on the topic of charity and donations, conducted by the GfK Verein in 14 countries

When it comes to charitable donations, Germans are less generous than the average European or US citizen, according to the findings of the international “Charity” survey conducted by the GfK Verein. One in five Germans donate money every year, and around the same proportion give their time or goods instead. Almost half have no involvement with charitable causes. Of those who donate money, just under three-quarters of Germans give between EUR 1 and EUR 200 a year. Children’s charities, antipoverty programs and disaster relief projects are the most popular causes supported by Germans.

Only 20% of Germans say that they donate money to charitable causes every year, which means that Germany is bottom of the rankings when it comes to monetary donations. In Europe and the USA, the percentage of individuals who give money every year is considerably higher, at 35%. Dutch, British and Swedish people appear to be particularly generous in this respect: two-thirds of people in the Netherlands and half of those in the UK and Sweden contribute money to charity every year. However, the number of those who do not donate money but instead give up some of their time to support good causes is slightly higher in Germany than in other countries, at 5%. In addition, 13% of Germans state that they donate goods such as food or clothes (Europe: 10%). Almost half of Germans say that they do not donate anything; when asked why, 35% say they cannot afford it, while 14% claim to have no interest in charitable causes.

Many donate to children’s charities and anti-poverty campaigns
Children’s charities receive the most support from Europeans – almost 40% of respondents indicated that they support projects for children in need – followed by antipoverty programs (34%) and health research (26%). Among Germans, children in need and antipoverty aid are also the causes that receive the most donations (34% and 28% respectively), closely followed by disaster relief projects and religious organizations (27% in each case). This puts Germany out in front among Western European countries when it comes to donating to religious causes. Only Romania and the USA record a higher level of generosity in this area, at 30% and 35% respectively.

The majority donate between EUR 1 and EUR 200 a year
Almost three-quarters of Germans who donate money to good causes give between EUR 1 and EUR 200 a year. Just 11% donate EUR 200 to EUR 500, whereas this proportion is twice as high in the UK and Sweden, and in the USA, 19% of respondents say that they invest between USD 200 and USD 500 in charitable causes every year. Only a small number of Europeans donate more than EUR 500: 2% in Germany and 4% In Europe (USA: 17%).

In Europe, Germany and the USA, half of those who are involved with or donate money to charitable causes are motivated by religious beliefs or personal values. Around a third support projects with which they have a personal connection. Only a dwindling percentage (2%) cite tax concerns as a reason for supporting charities.

The survey
In spring 2011, 13,950 individuals aged 15+ in 14 different countries were surveyed for the international “Charity” survey, which was conducted by the GfK Verein in cooperation with the Wall Street Journal Europe (WSJE). The survey investigated whether people donate to charitable causes every year, how much they donate and for what reasons, and which organizations/projects benefit from the donations.

The Wall Street Journal Europe (www.wsj.com)
The Wall Street Journal Europe was founded in 1983. It belongs to the leading global financial news group which also includes the Wall Street Journal, the Wall Street Journal Asia and the Wall Street Journal Online, the biggest subscription-based online news website in the world. These publications have a combined paid circulation of 2.9 million. Their readership includes leading economic and political figures all over the world. The Wall Street Journal Europe has a global network of around 1900 journalists, 370 of whom work in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is the biggest network of financial and economic journalists worldwide. 
Further information: Huss-PR-Consult, Judith Huss, tel. + 49 89 6494-5570, fax: + 49 89 6494-5572, judith.huss@hussprconsult.de

The GfK Verein
The GfK Verein was established in 1934 as a non-profit organization for the promotion of market research. Its membership consists of approximately 600 companies and individuals. The purpose of the Verein is to develop innovative research methods in close cooperation with academic institutions, to promote the training and further education of market researchers, to observe the structures and developments in society, the economy and politics that play a key role in private consumption, and to research their effects on consumers. Survey results are made available to the membership free of charge. The GfK Verein is a shareholder in GfK SE.
Further information: www.gfk-verein.org

Responsible under press legislation:
GfK Verein, Press Office
Sandra Lades
Nordwestring 101
90419 Nuremberg
Tel. +49 911 395-3606
presse@gfk-verein.org