People in the Netherlands like to decide which charities they support when they play the VriendenLoterij. The lottery saw a rise in 2011 in sales of “earmarked” tickets. Players use these to indicate in advance which charity will receive part of the price of their ticket. This system makes the VriendenLoterij unique in the Netherlands. More than 49 per cent (nearly €24 million) of the €48 million available total for 2011 will go to charities and clubs chosen by players. In 2010, the proportion was 47 per cent (more than €21 million), and in 2005 just 18 per cent (€6.6 million).

“Because of the budget cuts, other forms of financial support are more important than ever for many charities,” says Boudewijn Poelmann, chairman of the VriendenLoterij’s board of directors. “That's certainly true for organisations working in health care and the welfare sector. So lottery players consider carefully where they want 50 per cent of their lottery ticket price to go. We definitely see this trend continuing.”

Record revenues for VriendenLoterij
In 2011, revenues exceeded €96 million, a record sum. Half of it will go to charity. The VriendenLoterij will divide the sum among 41 Dutch charities working in the areas of health and welfare and more than 3,800 clubs and associations that will receive earmarked contributions. The record sum was revealed on Tuesday at the VriendenLoterij’s Goed Geld Gala in Amsterdam. At this festive gathering, the lottery announced how it would distribute financial contributions to charities.

VUmc Cancer Center Amsterdam receives most support
Of all the "earmarked" charities, the VUmc Cancer Center Amsterdam will receive the highest sum (€3 million) for 2011. This recently opened, hypermodern diagnostic and treatment center for cancer patients came about almost entirely thanks to contributions from players of the VriendenLoterij (more than €19 million since 2007). The earmarked contribution for the VUmc Cancer Center will now be used for an early diagnostic centre focusing on early detection of cancer and research therein.

Extra contribution from Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
Fred Teeven, the Dutch State Secretary of Security and Justice, awarded a €100,000 cheque to Fonds Slachtofferhulp for its SlachtofferWijzer.nl project this week on behalf of the ministry. SlachtofferWijzer.nl is a user-friendly, anonymous online tool that allows victims of crimes, accidents and disasters to quickly and easily contact the correct support organisations. Fonds Slachtofferhulp previously received €300,000 from the lottery for the project. The ministry’s contribution will enable further expansion of SlachtofferWijzer.nl. Fonds Slachtofferhulp works to improve the position of victims, survivors of victims, and witnesses of crimes, traffic accidents and disasters in the Netherlands. The VriendenLoterij provides the foundation with multiyear support.