European Research Network on Philanthropy

Éva Kuti
Budapest College of Management
email: kuti.eva@

Sources of philanthropy

In order to get a picture of the size and scope of the the philanthropy sector in a country, different sources of philanthropy are classified. In defining philanthropy, a definition is used that is being used in the longitudinal Giving in the Netherlands study, which defines philanthropy as ‘voluntary contributions by means of money, goods and/or time (expertise), given by individuals and private organisations (foundations, corporations and charity lotteries), and serving primarily the public good’. Note that in answering the question of who gives what to whom, ‘given to organisations’ is added, because the numbers focus on institutionalised philanthropy.

Giving by households (in vivo)

Three types of voluntary contributions are mentioned, namely money, goods and time. Although volunteering by individuals is an important part of the voluntary contribution of individuals, measuring and monetising voluntary work is still very much a work in progress. Moreover, the possibilities for monetising volunteering is questionable and still very much an academic debate. Therefore, volunteering by individuals will not be a part of the figures. Also data on in-kind giving is hard to find, and has been only be included if available.

Giving by individuals also does not include any taxes that are being redistributed to non-profits serving the public good, such as church taxes, tax redistribution schemes, or percentage philanthropy practices. Although these practices form an important source of revenue for many non-profits, the voluntary aspect of these practices is missing. 

Giving by bequest

Bequests, making donations to charitable organisations by means of a testament or will, are a specific income source in the income portfolio of non-profit organisations. Acclaimed as one of the drivers of ‘the new golden age of philanthropy’, the unprecedented expected intergenerational transfer of wealth provides major opportunities for non-profit organisations. As we can only rely on secondary sources, collecting data on bequests is more difficult than for in-vivo donations.

Giving by foundations 

Despite legal differences between European countries of what is considered to be a foundation, foundation giving is defined as monetary donations from a private non-profit organisation derived from an endowment. By only including donations derived from endowments, instead of adding the total expenditure by foundations, counting donations from individuals and/or other organisations twice is prevented.

Giving by corporations 

Although this overview excludes individual volunteering, some voluntary work is included nevertheless. For corporate giving we tried to include the total contribution by a company as calculated by the LBG model – one of the most commonly used methods by corporations (see This includes cash and in-kind donations in addition to the value of the work hours donated through employee volunteering schemes and any management costs incurred in implementing community investment initiatives. As a distinction between absolute giving (no returns from the recipient) and sponsoring (the recipient delivers a non-monetary return) cannot easily be made, sponsoring is also included.

Giving by charity lotteries

The final source of philanthropy comes from charity lotteries. Charity lotteries are not considered to be a conduit or form of individual giving, but specific organisations donating a considerable percentage of their revenue to charitable organisations. Also, charity lotteries are considered to be private players, independent from governments or politics. In many European countries, the revenue from (national) lotteries is redistributed to charitable organisations. However, in a number of cases they are a supplement to or replacement for government subsidies. As these lotteries are not independent organisations, for the purposes of this publication these lotteries are not included.

Philanthropic goals

For the aim of creating country profiles on giving, we have at least tried to include all the potential philanthropic goals. Next, we have provided broad categories that give a functional overview of significant philanthropic goals, instead of providing very detailed categories that might be considered independent categories in themselves in one country but do not exist in another, or might be considered too small.

For the aim of the country profiles the following categories have been used:

  1. Religion
  2. Health
  3. International aid
  4. Public and/or social benefit (national)
  5. Sports and recreation
  6. Culture
  7. The environment, nature and/or animals
  8. Education
  9. Other (not specified)

Data quality

In order to answer the questions of who gives what to which charitable goals, we must first ascertain how accurate the answers to these questions really are. In other words, we need to know whether the studies that have been carried out to collect data on giving by individuals, corporations, foundations and charity lotteries actually measure what they are supposed to. Regarding collecting data on giving, this is not always as easy as it might seem. Answers to questions on giving depend on the way those questions are asked, the number of prompts and the length of the survey. Different methodologies lead to different outcomes.

Therefore, in order to make a country profile on giving, all contributors were asked to describe the background to the data that were available in 2015 about giving in 2013[1]. They included the sources of the data collection (secondary sources or population surveys), the frequency of the data collection (if any) and the most recent year of the data collection. Regarding the target populations, the description of the data quality includes statements about representativeness, their response rates and validity. They further described the questionnaires they used, the instruments for data collection and their internal validity, but also the sources of the data (sponsors), their accessibility (public or private and the costs involved for retrieving the data), the locations, availability and studies carried out using the dataset. Finally, they gave a description about the background variables included in the dataset. With the aim of assessing the data quality, we used representativeness, validity, the availability of a classification in categories of philanthropic goals and whether the dataset includes some (relevant) background variables.

[1] The country profiles contain data that was available in 2015 on giving in a country in 2013. It might be that new data has become available more recently.

Introduction on Giving Research in Hungary

Marianna Török and István Sebestény[1]

There are several initiatives that are working towards the development of a philanthropic culture, volunteering and the not-for-profit sector. However, there is no institution that focuses on the research of philanthropy and the availability of data is limited in Hungary in this area. Most researchers rely on the data provided by the Hungarian Central Statistics Office (KSH), the National Tax Authority (NAV) and, if available, independent research data.

There are several organisations that either focus on research in a related area or do capacity building, and conduct research and generate data related to philanthropy from time to time:

  • The most active research group in the philanthropy-related research field is the Association for Nonprofit Research (Nonprofit Kutatócsoport Egyesület), an association for informal networking and collaborative research on issues related to not-for-profits, among them philanthropy. Several books and research results have been published under their aegis, and their website is the most extensive resource of publications related to this theme ( in Hungary.
  • Among the capacity building organisations there is the Donor’s Forum (Magyar Adományozói Fórum), which works towards the development of philanthropy in Hungary and publishes reports, case studies and best practices.
  • The National Volunteer Center (ÖKA) was established to create the necessary infrastructure for volunteering and the development of a volunteering culture. The cooperation and work of five non-profit organisations enabled the execution of this idea, so in September 2002 the National Volunteer Centre (ÖKA) was able to start its operations officially.
  • The Nonprofit Information and Training Center (NIOK) Foundation aims to strengthen civil society in Hungary and build an environment supportive of the long-term future of NGOs. NIOK promotes the sustainable and efficient functioning of NGOs by providing capacity-building services and strengthening the NGO sector’s links to local government, the business sector and society as a whole. NIOK is a public benefit open foundation, a member of the European Network of National Civil Society Associations (ENNA), V4 and the Viability Network.
  • There are individual researchers from very different backgrounds: statistics, economics, social sciences and social policy. Key individuals in the research field related to philanthropy are: Mária Arapovics (ELTE PPK), Anna-Mária Bartal (Pázmány Catholic University), János Bocz (KSH), Klára Czike (Hungarian Volunteer Center), László Harsányi (Nonprofit Research Group), Éva Kuti (Nonprofit Research Group), Ádám Rixer (Karoli University) István Sebestény (Hungarian Central Statistical Office), Marianna Torok (Consultant) and some other people.


[1] Hungarian Central Statistical Office, Budapest. Contacts: ;


Török, M. & Sebestény, I. (2017) Research on Giving in Hungary. In: Hoolwerf, L.K. & Schuyt, Th.N.M. (eds) Giving in Europe. The state of research on giving in 20 European countries. Amsterdam: Lenthe Publishers.

The country chapter can be downloaded here. The full study on Giving in Europe can be ordered at


Giving by individuals in Hungary

The main sources of information on individual charitable giving available in Hungary are the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) and the National Tax Authority (NAV). In addition, there are occasional data sources when research funding is available to researchers.

The KSH dataset (KSH 2015, 2.47) indicates that support from individuals in 2013 provided 5.1 % of the revenues of the classic civil not-for-profit organisations with its 26 920.5 million HUF (€ 91 million)[2] support (reaching 32.4 % of the sector, i.e. 18 307 organisations). As individuals are not entitled to any tax benefits for charitable donations, reporting and data availability on individual charitable giving is very limited.

There was a population survey initiated by the Nonprofit Kutatócsoport Egyesület (Association for Nonprofit Research) and carried out in partnership with the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (Czakó et al. 1995). This sample survey collected data on the giving habits and voluntary

activities of 14 833 randomly selected adults (18 years of age or over) in 1993. The respondents were questioned using the in-home personal interview technique. The questionnaire was broadly similar to those of several other European and North American research projects. A follow-up survey of 5 000 randomly selected Hungarian citizens (14 years of age or over) (Kuti and Czike 2006) shows that nearly four-fifths of the population aged fourteen and over (i.e. nearly seven million people) were involved in making at least one kind of donation out of the following: financial donations, donations in kind, unpaid voluntary activities and blood donations, the most popular form of donations being financial

donations (two-thirds of the population aged 14 or over donated money), while in-kind donations were nearly 50 %.

The research could not be repeated for financial reasons. At this point there is no information when the research can be repeated.


[2] Exchange rate of 1 Euro=295.7 HUF based on MNB (Hungarian National Bank)


Török, M. & Sebestény, I. (2017) Research on Giving in Hungary. In: Hoolwerf, L.K. & Schuyt, Th.N.M. (eds) Giving in Europe. The state of research on giving in 20 European countries. Amsterdam: Lenthe Publishers.

The country chapter can be downloaded here. The full study on Giving in Europe can be ordered at


Giving by bequest in Hungary

At the moment there is no information available on giving by bequest in Hungary.

Giving by corporations in Hungary

For corporations, donations to Hungarian not-for-profit organisations with Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) status are tax-deductible under limited conditions. Companies may also enjoy tax benefits for donations to the National Cultural Fund and the National Relief Fund. To claim a deduction, a company must be in possession of a certificate for tax purposes provided by the beneficiary organisation (Act LXXXI/1996 Section 7(1)(z), 7(7)).

The KSH dataset (KSH 2015, 2.47) indicates that support from corporations in 2013 provided 10.1 % of the revenues of the classic civil not-for-profit organisations with its 52 926.4 million HUF (€ 179 million) support reaching 19.3 % of the sector (10 891 organisations).

The most recent research on corporate giving was conducted by the Magyar Adományozói Fórum (Hungarian Donors Forum) (Magyar Adományozói Fórum 2015), which used data from the tax authorities for 2009, 2010 and 2011, and questionnaires to the 216 top companies in Hungary, which generated 40 returned forms from the ones regarding current and upcoming trends in their giving. As a result, this research (Magyar Adományozói Fórum 2015, 3) recognized a strong trend in corporate giving due to the legal and taxation changes that had occurred. The changes are striking regarding the number of companies reporting donations to the Tax Authorities, and the amounts of benefits used by the companies:

Table 1. The amount of tax deductions in a given year

Year The amount of benefits claimed in HUF Number of entities
2009 24 006 583 000 12 207
2010 3 986 544 000 3 343
2011 3 606 406 000 2 535


Török, M. & Sebestény, I. (2017) Research on Giving in Hungary. In: Hoolwerf, L.K. & Schuyt, Th.N.M. (eds) Giving in Europe. The state of research on giving in 20 European countries. Amsterdam: Lenthe Publishers.

The country chapter can be downloaded here. The full study on Giving in Europe can be ordered at


Giving by foundations in Hungary

Most not-for-profit organisations in Hungary register as associations or foundations. Registering as a foundation does not necessarily mean being a grant-making entity; moreover, there are very few private grant-making foundations. There are some state-financed public foundations that are hybrid organisations, that belong financially to the state and legally to the non-profit sector, and were established by the government to ensure the provision of public duties (prescribed by law). Public foundations receive annual budgetary support from ministries.

In 2013 there were 21 174 not-for-profit organisations registered as foundations, according to the KSH (19 332 reported financial activity for generating resources and expenditure, 273 of them had resources coming in but no expenditure, 912 has had no revenue coming in using its reserves, and 657 had not used any resources). In addition, there were 1 326 public foundations, most with financial activity.

Foundations accounted for 18.1 % of the total revenues of the not-for-profit sector (224 969.6 million HUF) while public foundations accounted for 2.2 % of the total revenues of this sector (27 409.7 million HUF)[3]. (KSH STADAT 3.2.7.)

There is information available on the giving by not-for-profit entities by the KSH[4]. It reveals that almost 12 000 not-for-profits provided resources to support individuals and organisations.

The total amount of donations reached 131 billion HUF, most of it being financial support (114 417 million HUF) going to other organisations (KSH STADAT 3.2.9.), out of which 72 billion HUF (€ 243 million) in financial support was provided by private (€ 179 million) and public foundations (€ 64 million) (KSH 2015, 2.94).

Table 1. Number of not-for-profit organisations providing support and the monetary value of their support, 2013

Form of support Number Amount, million HUF
Financial support:
to individuals 5 118 23 226
to organisations 5 533 91 191
Both 9 592 114 417
All support:
to individuals 6 526 35 126
to organisations 6 869 95 423
Total 11 859 130 549.0

Not-for-profit entities provided support in several fields of activities in 2013 (KSH 2015, 2.97), education being by far the most preferred area of support (table 2).

Table 2. The amount and proportion of financial support allocated by not-for-profit organisations, 2013

Areas of support Total
million HUF %
Culture 14 510.0 12.7 %
Religion 1 113.4 1.0 %
Sport 2 899.8 2.5 %
Hobby 1 196.7 1.0 %
Education 48 177.2 42.0 %
Research 1 350.6 1.2 %
Healthcare 2 232.6 2.0 %
Social care 13 326.7 11.6 %
Fire brigades, security 67.4 0.1 %
Environmental protection 1 302.7 1.1 %
Regional development 2 923.9 2.6 %
Economic development 1 331.8 1.2 %
Rights protection 2 395.2 2.1 %
Public safety 539.8 0.5 %
Multi-purpose support 13 258.8 11.6 %
International relations 1 275.8 1.1 %
Interest representation 5 833.8 5.1 %
Political 680.8 0.6 %
Total 114 417.0 100 %

[3] Accessed: 28, April 2015

[4] Accessed: 28, April, 2015


Török, M. & Sebestény, I. (2017) Research on Giving in Hungary. In: Hoolwerf, L.K. & Schuyt, Th.N.M. (eds) Giving in Europe. The state of research on giving in 20 European countries. Amsterdam: Lenthe Publishers.

The country chapter can be downloaded here. The full study on Giving in Europe can be ordered at


Giving by charity lotteries in Hungary

Charity lotteries do not exist in Hungary.

References and further reading

Czakó, Á., L. Harsányi, É. Kuti, and Á. Vajda. Individual Giving and Volunteering. Budpest: KSH and Nonprofit Kutatócsoport Egyesület, 1995.

KSH. Statisztikai Tükör. December 23, 2013. (accessed April 28, 2015).

—. Nonprofit szervetek Magyarországon (Nonprofit Organizations in Hungary). Budapest: KSH, 2015.

Kuti, Éva, and Klára Czike. Önkéntesség, jótékonyság, társadalmi integráció (Volunteering, Charity, Social Integration). Budapest: Nonprofit Kutatócsoport Egyesület, Önkéntes Központ Alapítvány, 2006.

Magyar Adományozói Fórum. “A hazai vállalatok társadalmi befektetéseinek trendjei 2009-2015.” MAF. 2015. (accessed April 28, 2015).