Monday saw a nation’s sadness lead to a nation’s spirit come together. Within hours of the massive blaze that ravaged the 850-year-old Gothic building, French tycoons and charities came together with donations exceeding 700 Million Euros ($790.93 MILLION). The UAE and the muslim world, are well known for their philanthropic spirit with the most economic extremes. The UAE’s own Zakat Fund, founded in 2003 was introduced to develop and spend its revenues in Sharia-compliant channels to contribute to the social development of the UAE.

Reuters published this interesting review of how the nation’s tragedy has realigned the philanthropic spirit of France:

According to the most recent figures from the European Research Network on Philanthropy, French households, corporations and foundations gave away 8.4 billion euros in 2013, equivalent to 0.4 percent of the country’s GDP. That’s some way short of Germany’s 0.8 percent and Britain’s 1.2 percent. There are no French signatories to the Giving Pledge, the scheme set up by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the world’s richest people to give away half or more of their wealth.That’s partly down to history. Ever since the French Revolution the state has been considered the main custodian of the common good. That ethos is reflected in France’s tax burden, which at 46.2 percent of GDP in 2017 was the highest amongst developed nations as recorded by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

France’s philanthropic History
According to the most recent figures from the European Research Network on Philanthropy, French households, corporations and foundations gave away 8.4 billion euros in 2013, equivalent to 0.4 percent of the country’s GDP. That’s some way short of Germany’s 0.8 percent and Britain’s 1.2 percent. There are no French signatories to the Giving Pledge, the scheme set up by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the world’s richest people to give away half or more of their wealth.That’s partly down to history. Ever since the French Revolution the state has been considered the main custodian of the common good. That ethos is reflected in France’s tax burden, which at 46.2 percent of GDP in 2017 was the highest amongst developed nations as recorded by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The headline numbers also don’t reflect that French employers often give workers more time off to volunteer.Helping to restore a symbol of national pride makes moral sense. Given France’s ongoing civil strife, rebuilding Notre-Dame is also a good way for its richer citizens to show they are giving something back. The shame is that it took the near-destruction of a national monument to unfreeze their wallets…..

The headline numbers also don’t reflect that French employers often give workers more time off to volunteer.Helping to restore a symbol of national pride makes moral sense. Given France’s ongoing civil strife, rebuilding Notre-Dame is also a good way for its richer citizens to show they are giving something back. The shame is that it took the near-destruction of a national monument to unfreeze their wallets…..

Source: 16 April 2019 By Ed Cropley, George Hay, Reuters.

How is your philanthropic spirit affected by this?

Whether it be to fulfill your religious beliefs, improve your sense of well-being and outlook on life or simply even a way to mitigate tax, the sadness of Notre Dame can be a reminder to us all of the importance of giving back.

 

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