The Global Philanthropy Environment Index “Northern Europe” region includes Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
With an average score of 4.7, Northern Europe is characterized by high levels of organizational freedom and civic participation as well as by a policy environment favorable to philanthropy. Philanthropy is deep-rooted in the culture of Nordic societies and the importance of individual giving, venture philanthropy, and social investment is increasing while government funding remains a significant source of revenues for philanthropic organizations in the region. On average, tax incentives available to donors and philanthropic organizations are still less favorable in some Nordic countries than is the case in North America and the Pacific, but the levels of time donations (volunteering) are quite high in comparative terms.
The refugee crisis resulting from the arrival in 2015 of a large number of asylum seekers in Northern Europe, if resolved, still affects public debates and has increased political polarization around the theme of immigration, affecting some philanthropic initiatives. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the philanthropic sector in 2021 and will certainly remain a central preoccupation in the coming years as the region enters the post-pandemic era. The pandemic has also revealed the importance of the philanthropic sector in times of crises and spurred innovations as well as the swift adoption of digital solutions by philanthropy organizations across the region, making social media, online meetings, online fundraising, and crowdfunding more ubiquitous in the philanthropic sector.