Monthly Archives: April 2011

Giving in the Netherlands tops €4.7 billion

The total value of donations to nonprofit organizations in the Netherlandshas increased to €4.7 billion in 2009. Despite the economic crisis, household giving stabilized at €1.9 billion and corporate giving increased to 1.7 billion. The figures were published today by the Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU University Amsterdam. A summary of principle findings is available here: 

The new Giving in the Netherlands study includes a special report on giving by high net worth households with an average net worth of €1.4 million. The report shows that giving by high net worth households is considerably higher than in the total Dutch population. Annual donations averaged almost €2,800 per household in the high net worth sample versus €210 in the random sample of households.

The total value of corporate giving increased due to an increase in the value of sponsoring and partnerships with nonprofit organizations. While corporate philanthropy declined to just below €400 million, the value of donations in the form of sponsorships and partnerships increased to €1.3 billion.

The new figures are based on surveys among corporations (n=1,183), and households (n=3,495). The households surveyed include a random sample of the population (n=1,692), and oversamples of high net worth households (n=1,216) and immigrants (n=587).

For more information, contact the Center for Philanthropic Studies at or visit

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How Generous is Europe?

How much money is donated to nonprofit organizations in Europe? What’s the most generous country in the world? Very simple and interesting questions indeed. A radio listener commenting on our new estimates of the total amount donated by households in the Netherlands asked them.

You would expect that there are data available answer them. But it turns out that there are no good answers to these questions. There are some data from poll surveys on the proportion of the population making donations, such as the Gallup World Poll (2010), the European Social Survey (2002), and the Eurobarometer Survey (2004).

A picture is always nice – so here’s one. 

Here’s a link to a clickable map using the most recent Gallup data. But what does this map actually tell us?

A map using the European Social Survey data or data from the Eurobarometer would look rather different, because the data are pretty inconsistent with each other. According to Gallup, 77% of the population in the Netherlands makes donations. This is pretty close to what we estimate in our Giving in the Netherlands Panel Survey (GINPS). Yet the European Social Survey (ESS) shows about 45%, while the Eurobarometer shows 81% – consistent with GINPS. For the Netherlands, the ESS yields an underestimate, it seems.

For France, Gallup yields 31%, higher again than the ESS estimate of 24%. The Eurobarometer estimate, however, is 56%. Now who’s closer to the true value?

Also, what these data don’t show is how much is donated.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to compare the €1.9 billion donated in the Netherlands to donations in other countries?

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Where’s the Register of Charities?

ANBI-logo A question by a student this week prompted my curiosity: where’s the address list of all registered charities in the Netherlands?

At the website of Netherlands tax authorities (“Belastingdienst”) there used to be a list of all names of registered charities and the place where they are registered. The list did not give addresses or contact information. Neither is there any information about the mission or sector of the organization, let alone financial data about income and expenses.

February 12, 2014 update: the list has been taken down from the tax authorities website. Instead you can now search for individual charities at this website.

May 21, 2019 update: the list is available again, at

May 19, 2020 update: The current file includes data on 52,539 nonprofit organizations, including organizations that are no longer registered. The file is updated weekly. In total, 43,982 organizations are currently registered.

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Volunteering by immigrants

Using new survey data from the Netherlands, we find that non-immigrants are more likely to volunteer for secular organisations than guest worker immigrants and postcolonial citizen immigrants. In contrast, non-immigrants are less likely to engage in religious volunteering than both immigrant groups. We explain differences in the likelihood of religious and secular volunteering between immigrants and non-immigrants in the Netherlands by differences in level of individual resources, religiosity and having been asked to volunteer.

Carabain, C.L. & Bekkers, R. (2011). Religious and secular volunteering: a comparison between immigrants and non-immigrants in the Netherlands. Voluntary Sector Review, 2 (1): 23-41.

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Giving in the Netherlands Panel Survey User Manual

A modest cheer in the office today: a first version of the Giving in the Netherlands Panel Survey User Manual is now online.

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