Despite inflation, the French continue to give to associations – Inflation

While it’s too early to get consolidated numbers for the whole of 2022, most organizations raising money for charity are happy that their donors haven’t abandoned them, except perhaps the most modest of them. “With inflation, we had a defection of small donors, those who gave 20 or 50 euros per year”, summarizes Samantha Millar-Hoppe, responsible for the generosity of the general public at Secours Catholique. But conversely, other wealthier donors “were more generous than usual”, she continues: “Some told us ‘I am writing a larger check this year because I know that for you, it’s is more complicated than ever.

The statistics for 2022 must, in any case, be analyzed with caution, due to the Ukrainian crisis, which has generated an exceptional, but not necessarily renewable, outpouring of generosity. Thus, in the first half of 2022, donations increased by 10.7% compared to the same period of the previous year, calculated France Générosités, the professional union, which brings together 136 associations and foundations.

The Ukrainian peculiarity

But without the amounts specifically earmarked for Ukraine, the increase would have only reached 1.6%, i.e. “one of the lowest increases observed compared to other years”, worries Nadège Rodrigues, director of studies and communication. In other words, by dismissing the Ukrainian particularity, “the increase in donations does not compensate for inflation”, which can be worrying for 2023, she summarizes.

“Without Ukraine, we would have had a drop of 10 to 12%,” said Samuel Coppens, spokesperson for the Salvation Army, who anticipates a drop in donations of 5% in 2023. “Some donors have told us “This year, I can’t help you, because I have to help my grandchildren first”, he says. However, “France remains generous”, thanks to “a fund of donors who have a real sense of the common good, who continue to make this effort”, he continues.

And fortunately, because “society is very clearly in bad shape”, and the needs are increasing to help the poorest: “In our food distributions, we see more and more new beneficiaries, in particular students or retirees who receive a whole small boarding house. “Where we served 400 meals two or three years ago, now it’s 600,” adds this manager. For Jacques Malet, president of the “Research and Solidarity” network of experts and academics, charities can rely on the “great loyalty” of their most generous donors.

“Anxious for the future”

Some 80% of the amounts contributed are provided by around 20% of the donors, who are often very interested, and over the long term, in the projects carried out with their money, “a bit like investors”, according to him. Many of these loyal supporters also pay their donation by monthly direct debit, a method of payment “less linked to the vagaries of the crisis”, observes Sophie Rieunier, professor of management sciences at Marne-la-Vallée and specialist in the collection of funds. In addition, many donors remain “financially comfortable”: “Inflation also affects them, but for them, the donation is not an adjustment variable”, she adds.

However, the associations are “anxious for the future” and are constantly looking for new methods to attract donors or increase their collection, notes this specialist. Thus, in December, the Secours Populaire volunteers who wrapped Christmas gifts in exchange for a small donation equipped themselves with bank card terminals, says Thierry Robert, the national secretary of the association. It was good for them: people having less and less cash on them, “generosity goes from cash to dematerialized money”. And in the end, instead of a few coins, credit card users “will easily give up to five euros”, rejoices the head of Secours populaire.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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