Do Danes Donate?

Celina Runs For Africa

Recently, Matt took some promotional photos for Celina Christensen, a Danish native who has moved to Ireland with her family, and as part of a project at her new school has been elected to travel to Africa in 2018. This unique opportunity will mean that Celina will be spending a week helping people in need in Malawi – considered to be one of the poorest countries – in cooperation with an international development charity organization. Through this type of work some of the most vulnerable countries in Africa have seen substantial development through the improvement of education and by supporting local farmers. Matt’s photo work for Celina, to capture her in a running pose, was to promote her fundraising activities to raise money to cover travel expenses in which she is doing a sponsored run. Celina’s campaign is called “I Run For Africa,” where Celina hopes to use her hobby of running to raise the necessary funds and increase awareness of her project.

Fundraising Goal

This led her to candidly have a discussion with Matt about the mentality of donating money and the issue that came up was whether Danes would be inclined to donate less to charitable causes because they pay more TAX than most other places in the world: an opinion that has been studied often over the years, writes the Wall Street Jounral.


Danes’ Willingness To Donate

Celina’s goal of reaching €2,200 has so far been met by donations that have reached €903, but she may have her work cut out. Studies have shown that when it comes to providing assistance, time, and even money, the Danes are no longer as willing as they used to be. In 2014, The World Giving Index (WGI) placed Danish people as being the most generous people in the world. Danes tended to be more giving than their immediate neighbours, ranking at number 18 in the world according to the Charities Aid Foundation (yet less wealthier countries such as Kenya and even Trinidad & Tobago have ranked higher). The WGI is based on the percentage of people in a given month who donate their money to charity, their time to a volunteer cause or help a stranger. In fact, Danes were the most likely to donate their money, with 62 percent of Danish respondents reporting that they donated money each month. 55 percent of Danes reported that they helped a stranger and 23 percent volunteered their time. Denmark’s top 20 placing came as no surprise to Anders Ladekarl, the general secretary of the Danish Red Cross, who said, “We experience a strong desire to give amongst Danes – both in terms of time and money.”

A Contrast To Previous Stats Mark Downturn

As of this year, The WGI reported that Denmark is no longer among the world’s 20 most generous nations, but, despite the results, several recent fundraising drives showed that Danes are still very willing to give. Danes are no longer among the world’s most generous givers, according to the global index, ranking people’s willingness to donate their time, money, and assistance. The WGI report showed that Denmark plummeted significantly in comparison to other countries. As of 2017, Denmark has now dropped in The WGI, with a 44 percent proportion of people donating money.

Taxes and Quality of Life

Denmark has one of the highest tax rates in the world. The average Dane pays a total amount of 45 percent in income taxes with Danish income taxes based on a progressive tax system. It is believed by most Danes that this model turns collective wealth into well-being, seeing it as an investment in society thereby purchasing quality of life.

It’s speculative to question, but Celina and Matt’s conversation about high taxes, despite increasing living standards, is poignant due to the evidence that charitable giving in Denmark is falling year-by-year. However, notably, scientists have found that the brain reacts the same way to making donations as it does to paying taxes, if the taxes are clearly being used for a good cause.

Let’s hope Celina can reach her target and improve the living standards of those less fortunate around the world.

If you’d like to contribute to Celina’s cause please visit

Words by Elijah (Content Marketer)

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