United Postcode Lotteries

Introduction

The United Postcode Lotteries are public charity lotteries administered by the social enterprise Novamedia. The lotteries are funded through selling lots: 50% of gross proceeds are provided to a broad range of organisations working in the field of environmental protection, climate change, human rights, gender equality and social cohesion.

Of the seven lotteries operating in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the Dutch, 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. In 2017, the United Postcode Lotteries was the second most generous private provider for development, following the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Dutch, Swedish and People’s Postcode Lotteries have been sharing their grant-making data with the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate since 2017, covering both commitments and disbursements.

Private development finance

In 2017, the United Postcode Lotteries provided USD 363.6 million in private development finance through standard grants. With a total private development finance of USD 244.3 million, the Dutch Postcode Lottery was the largest of the three charity lotteries, followed by the Swedish Postcode Lottery (USD 81.4 million) and the People’s Postcode Lottery (USD 37.9 million).

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All of the lotteries’ funding was provided bilaterally. However, 8% of the total was implemented by multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions).

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Notes: The United Postcode Lotteries provided unrestricted support to multilateral organisation (namely the United Nations Children’s Fund, the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme). These funds, however, do not qualify as assessed contributions, thus are considered multi-bi/non-core contributions.

In 2017, USD 323.7 million (89.0%) of the lotteries’ funding was channelled to/through civil society organisations (CSOs) and USD 9.2 million (2.5%) to/through networks and public-private partnerships. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, 88.5% of the lotteries’ financing was unallocated, due to the largely unrestricted character of their grant making. Still, USD 30.3 million (8.3%) of the total was allocated to south of Sahara Africa and USD 7.9 million (2.2%) to South and Central Asia.

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In 2017, 7.0% of the United Postcode Lotteries’ funding was concentrated on their top 10 recipients. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 20.8 million in 2017 (5.7%).

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In 2017, 6.3% of United Postcode Lotteries’ activities (USD 22.7 million) was allocated to the least developed countries (LDCs), noting that 91.8% was unallocated by income group. The unallocated character of United Postcode Lotteries’ activities reflects the unrestricted nature of their grant making.

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In 2017, 41.8% of the lotteries’ funding was allocated to social infrastructure and services (USD 152.1 million), with a strong focus on government and civil society (particularly ending violence against women and girls and human rights). Further, 13.6% (USD 49.4 million) was allocated to multi-sector/cross-cutting objectives, predominantly in support of biodiversity conservation. Humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 97.6 million (26.8%).

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USD 76.3 million of total funding from the lotteries supported gender equality. In 2017, 31.5% of their sector-allocable financing had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective. In addition, the United Postcode Lotteries’ support to other social infrastructure and services, banking and financial services, government and civil society, population and reproductive health, and agriculture focused on gender equality.

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USD 108.4 million of the United Postcode Lotteries’ funding supported the environment. In 2017, 44.8% of its sector-allocable aid supported the environment, USD 78.5 million of which was provided for climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.

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Additional resources

Novamedia: www.novamedia.nl

Dutch Postcode Lottery: www.postcodeloterij.nl

Swedish Postcode Lottery: www.postkodlotteriet.se

People’s Postcode Lottery: www.postcodelottery.co.uk

German Postcode Lottery: www.postcode-lotterie.de

Norwegian Postcode Lottery: www.postkodelotteriet.no

Role of philanthropy in financing for development: www.oecd.org/development/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/beyond-oda-foundations.htm

OECD CRS database, Private philanthropy for development: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=DV_DCD_PPFD

Reporting to the OECD since 2017.

United Postcode Lotteries