United Postcode Lotteries

The United Postcode Lotteries are public charity lotteries administered by the social enterprise Novamedia. The United Postcode Lotteries are funded through selling lots: 50% of gross proceeds are provided to a broad range of organisations. Of the seven lotteries operating in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and People’s (UK) Postcode Lotteries provide considerable support to organisations working for development.

The United Postcode Lotteries are a significant provider of core/unrestricted support to organisations working on development issues and beyond, such as environmental protection, climate change, human rights, gender equality and social cohesion. A share of their grantmaking is dedicated to specific projects.

The United Postcode Lotteries provided USD 357.4 million for development in 2020 through its grantmaking activities. Compared to 2019, this amount represented a slight decrease of 3% in real terms.

In 2020, the United Postcode Lotteries provided USD 30.6 million to the multilateral system, or 9% of its development finance. Most of these contributions were channelled through United Nations (UN) entities.

The UN system received USD 28.3 million from the United Postcode Lotteries in 2020, with USD 21.7 million to UNICEF, USD 5.1 million to the UNHCR and USD 1.5 million to the WFP.

See the section on Geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2020, the United Postcode Lotteries channelled its grants mostly through non-governmental organisations and multilateral organisations.

Seventy-nine per cent of these contributions were provided as core support, while the remaining 21% were earmarked for specific countries, regions, themes or purposes.

In 2020, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 332.8 million of the United Postcode Lotteries’ gross bilateral finance. Of this, 81% was allocated to CSOs as core support and 19% was earmarked for projects initiated by the provider.

In 2020, the United Postcode Lotteries’ development finance was mainly focused on Africa and Asia. USD 48.7 million was allocated to Africa and USD 14 million to Asia, accounting respectively for 14% and 4% of gross bilateral contributions. Eighty-one per cent of gross development finance was unspecified by region in 2020, mainly due to its multi-regional or core support character.

In 2020, 10% of gross development finance went to the United Postcode Lotteries’ top 10 recipients, the most significant of which included the Central African Republic, India and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Least developed countries received USD 32.9 million (9%) of the United Postcode Lotteries’ gross disbursements in 2020, noting that 87% was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 34.6 million in 2020, representing 10% of the United Postcode Lotteries’ development finance.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2020, 47% of the United Postcode Lotteries’ contributions were allocated to social infrastructure and services, 4% to economic infrastructure and services, 4% to production sectors, and 19% to multi-sector and cross-cutting issues such as general environmental protection. In terms of sectors, the United Postcode Lotteries’ largest allocations went to government and civil society, multi-sector, and health and population policies. Moreover, bilateral humanitarian aid amounted to USD 93.4 million (26%).

In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Postcode Lotteries commitments supported a wide range of SDGs of the UN 2030 Agenda, most significantly SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and SDG 1 (no poverty).

Moreover, USD 157.1 million (44%) was aimed at supporting SDG 5 (gender equality) and USD 81.5 million (23%) SDG 13 (climate action). Approximately 25% of the United Postcode Lotteries’ contributions to the climate agenda targeted adaptation, 7% mitigation, and 68% both adaptation and mitigation.

Official websites:

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the SDG focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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