Preferring the positive to the negative, many people are starting to say civil society organization / CSO instead of “non profit”. We’ve been saying that since 1994.
As an average for Western Europe and the US, 47 % of civil society’s income derives from fees and revenues, 43 % from government, and only 10 % from private sources, including companies, foundations and individuals.
European CSOs receive from 2 % (Germany) to 7 % (UK) of their total income from individuals. In the United States, the figure is 14 %, while in Japan it is less than 1%. Considering their recent socialist past, Hungarian citizens are amazingly forthcoming: their direct contributions finance 5 % of their civil society.
In the United States, 80 % of grants and donations come from individuals, and most of them go to religious organizations. No other country comes close to this level of individual giving. Outside of the US, most private giving is from companies.
In many countries the mails have been unreliable, so it used to be out of the question to solicit donations by mail. Now we are finding that wherever in the world the mails work, fund development by “direct mail” also works: for example, in Mexico and in Moscow.
Speaking of Mexico, Milton Murray, our late friend, spearheaded the first major fund raising campaign there. The year was 1968.
In Brazil you can donate by telephone. If you call a certain number, the telephone company’s computer adds $10 to your bill. If you call a certain other number, it charges you $100. We assume the company sends all the money to the CSO in question.