“In 2023, inflation has not stopped the French from being generous!”

“In 2023, inflation has not stopped the French from being generous!”

With inflation, donations had stalled in 2022 according to the Solidarity Barometer of the Apprentis d'Auteuil foundation measuring the generosity of the French. Were the French more generous last year? Stéphane Dauge, director of communications and fundraising, reveals the results of this fifth edition, published Thursday April 25 in partnership with Ipsos.

Are the Apprentis d'Auteuil affected by this increase in donations?

Very little. For our part, donations experienced a slight growth of 1.2%, which is not enough to cover inflation and the increase in charges. We notice that our most modest donors have not been able to give as much as before. The barometer is more optimistic. It appears from this study that less well-off households are more likely than before to make at least one donation.

On the higher income side, the increase in the amount of donations is even greater and even reached 13.2%.

Donations from low-income households are therefore increasing a little but those from the wealthiest are experiencing a real rebound. Is this a reflection of growing inequalities?

What is certain is that the purchasing power of high incomes is less impacted by inflation. In the barometer, we clearly observe that the richest French people are aware of their responsibilities and, as a result, they help their fellow citizens in greatest difficulty. I don't know if this reflects a trend of personal enrichment, but we normally observe that between the pledges of donations in the current year and the reality measured the following year, there is an erosion. For the first time, in 2023, donations from the wealthiest households exceed their intentions.

Can the increase in donations be explained by the cry of alarm launched in the fall by certain associations, such as Restos du coeur?

It could have played a role. The French show that they are sensitive to the fact that associations have more and more needs. They clearly want to support them. There is growing precariousness in our country, despite the decline in inflation, and they are aware of it. Even if in 2023 the French gave in greater proportions than in 2022, we notice a decline in the number of causes supported. Today, our fellow citizens support a little more than two different causes, before there were more like three. They help the causes they have financed for a long time and join few new associations. This is something we see at Apprentis d’Auteuil. Moreover, we are having difficulty recruiting new donors.

Barometer after barometer, you see that young people under 35 give an advantage over the rest of the population. Is this surprising?

Traditionally, generosity is more carried by seniors. Young people are more accustomed to making their time available to help associations. In recent years, however, they have been giving more and more money. They are aware that from the moment they enter working life, the needs of the beneficiaries they meet in the associations and to whom they offer their time also require a financial commitment. This is a trend and a good signal. This increase is mainly seen in street fundraising. They offer to give us a bank identity statement, which allows us to have long-term membership. The average age of donors during these operations is 30 years. Unlike seniors who give to an institution, we see that young people give to a cause.

What could be the trend next year?

Overall, this generosity should continue next year. But to be sure, you will have to wait. Most donations are made in the last quarter of each year. The end of the year generally represents around 40% of the annual collection.

One of the lessons of your study is that the ranking of causes for which the French give the most has changed.

Helping the most deprived has in fact become the first cause for which the French give, just ahead of health. At Apprentis d'Auteuil, we are obviously delighted to see that childhood and education are in fourth place in our barometer, which represents progress. For the wealthiest French people, this cause even ranks second. Young people furthest from employment is a theme that mobilizes our fellow citizens. And, of course, it fills us with joy.

Is there anything that particularly surprises you about these results?

We realize that there remains a lack of understanding of certain tax mechanisms. Even if this is not the primary motivation of the French for their donations, it remains an encouraging factor. Not everyone knows this but, during the health crisis, the State increased the deductibility ceiling for donations to €1,000 and Parliament extended this provision until 2026.

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