Dutch increasingly generous

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This year’s subsidy cuts have failed to adversely affect most Dutch charities. In the past ten years, proceeds from fundraising campaigns have increased by 3.8 percent a year on average.

Tuesday's annual report from the Central Fundraising Bureau CBF showed an above-average increase of 4.7 percent in 2010.

The 2010 increase in donations at least partly compensated for the reduction in government subsidies, which decreased by 9.6 percent. “This kind of compensatory behaviours is an exception to the rule,” says René Bekkers, a researcher at VU University Amsterdam. “In the past decades we have seen the Dutch react to subsidy cuts to charities by giving less.”

A total of 831 organisations including the Salvation Army, Cordaid and Oxfam Novib raised 3.8 billion euros; 1.4 billion of which came from own fund-raising campaigns, 1.3 billion in government subsidies and 1.1 billion from other sources, including 457 million from lotteries. In 2009, Dutch charities raised a total of 3.7 billion euros.

The World Giving Index 2010 published by the Charities Aid Foundation shows puts the Dutch squarely in the lead of Europe's most generous nations: 77 percent of the Dutch people give to charities. The European top five also includes the United Kingdom 73 percent Ireland 72 percent, Switzerland 71 percent and Austria 69 percent.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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