Charities and NGOs get windfall as increasing numbers of taxpayers donate 1 percent of income

More and more Poles are donating 1 percent of their tax to charities and NGOs. Kalbar/TFN

Poles transferred PLN 761 million to charities and public benefit organisations in 2017 through a 1-percent tax scheme offered by the state, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.

The scheme allows taxpayers to voluntarily donate 1 percent of their annual income at no additional charge to a non-profit organisation of their choice.

Last year’s figure is 15-percent higher on the year before.

Paweł Jurek from the finance ministry told TFN: “The development of civil society in Poland makes people increasingly aware of, and willing to, help others.

“The increase in money being transferred is also due to the increase in wealth with the income of an average Pole increasing, so the amount of 1% from higher incomes is also rising.”

Marta Gumowska, an activist from the Klon/Jawor association, which deals with developing a tolerant, active and self-organising society, however, sees more reasons for this trend.

“The trust Polish society has in non-government organisations is growing,” she told TFN. “As institutions in general they enjoy the greatest trust among Poles.

“This is due to both the objectives of supporting the sick and the weak, and the transparency of the organisational structures of these organisations encourages Poles to support their activities.”

A KPMG report last year showed that the wealthier people get, the more willing they are to donate to charity organisations.

From those earning PLN 1,500 PLN net per month, 65 percent transferred their money to non-profit organisations, while 96 percent of those earning over PLN 7,500 handed some money over.