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Germans are donating more than ever – you should avoid these mistakes

Character is revealed in times of crisis.

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Germans are donating more than ever – you should avoid these mistakes

Character is revealed in times of crisis. That's how former chancellor Helmut Schmidt put it in the 1960s, when a wave of helpfulness followed the storm surge in Hamburg. The sentence does not seem to have lost its validity to this day:

Germans are more willing to donate than ever before. And this despite the fact that many citizens are currently struggling with the rising prices themselves.

It should even be a record year for the aid organizations in the country. "After a new record high was achieved in Germany last year with monetary donations of 12.9 billion euros, donations could increase again in 2022 despite all the uncertainties," says Burkhard Wilke, Managing Director of the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI).

"The very large willingness to donate to the people affected by the war in Ukraine, especially in the first half of the year, contributes to this."

At the same time, the population's trust in aid organizations is low: only 15 percent of Germans donate because they feel connected to an institution. This is the result of a recent survey by the market research institute YouGov.

Furthermore, only a minority of respondents have a “positive impression” of most well-known charities. No wonder, after all, scandals are regularly reported.

Experts advise when choosing an organization to look out for seals of approval – for example from the DZI. The Institute publishes its certified organizations in an online database. Anyone who wants to advertise with the label must commit to compliance with various quality standards, such as the use of funds and transparency, but also public relations.

Such seals are also important because the legal situation often makes it particularly easy for fraudsters. Most federal states have abolished so-called collection laws in recent years.

These have obliged collectors to provide the responsible authority with proof of use for the purpose of collection. The administrative burden is too great, the requirements too strict, so the argument of the federal states.

However, donations can no longer only be made directly to organizations. Internet portals such as "Betterplace" or "Gofundme" also promise to distribute small amounts from those who are willing to help. Stiftung Warentest recently tested the platforms. Their conclusion is sobering: the testers don't see any added value.

"A donation via a platform is quick and uncomplicated," says the verdict. However, since the portals usually swipe fees, more money comes to an organization if donors transfer it directly.

But here, too, helpers should note the following: If possible, payments of up to 150 euros should not be distributed among different organizations. According to Stiftung Warentest, every donation causes administrative costs that reduce the amount donated.

In addition, the testers advise against spontaneous donations: "Reputable organizations that solicit donations on the doorstep never urge immediate signature."

And last but not least, helpers should not forget to ask for a donation receipt – at least for amounts of more than 300 euros. After all, up to 20 percent of the total amount of income is tax-deductible as a donation.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 7 a.m. with our financial journalists. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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