2023 COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS
Central & Eastern Europe is facing a pivotal moment, brimming with opportunities and challenges. After approximately 30 years of a free market economy, both individuals and companies now possess the means and willingness to contribute. While the social impact ecosystem matures, with EU regulations nurturing this domain, challenges remain. The pursuit of profit remains a central priority for businesses and investors. Philanthropic giving is emotionally driven and dispersed, with donors still reluctant to fund infrastructure organizations and more systemic causes. While crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine mobilize solidarity, sustaining this engagement remains the biggest challenge.
BARRIERS AND INCENTIVES IN CEE
In order to positively influence the CEE social impact ecosystem in which corporate and individual donors from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia operate, we need to first understand what stands in their way to a greater social engagement. What barriers do they face, including tax and legal aspects? What are the potential incentives that could positively impact their engagement? The process of mapping them and, ultimately, positively influencing the national ecosystems is a key objective of this initiative.
Philanthropy in CEE 2022
The second edition of “Philanthropy in Central & Eastern Europe” study was conducted in March and April 2022 among the citizens of 7 CEE countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia. We hope that this data will serve decision-makers and other key players as a reference point for further research, information, education and financial decisions. It is our contribution to facilitating more informed, intentional and impactful giving in the region, but also a great responsibility. Today perhaps even greater and more important than ever.
One of the most frequently reported problems, mainly by entities from the SME sector, accounting for 99.8% of enterprises in Poland , was the lack of clarity in the legal and tax aspects of organizing employee volunteering programs. Employers paid particular attention to lack of clear rules and formal means of delegating employees to volunteer work, lack of clarity as to the scope of the employer’s responsibility for the employees during their voluntary activities and lack of clarity as to the deductibility of costs incurred by the employer when organizing volunteer work. In response to the above, in a group of excellent partners and experts, we created a practical document – a guide to employee volunteering.
STRONG CIVIL SOCIETY
No one could have imagined how challenged we would be in such a short time; first the COVID-19 pandemic, now the war in Ukraine. Research clearly shows that during crises, donor involvement increases significantly. However, in the long run, crises weaken the social sector. Strong, independent organizations are key to building a strong civil society, as are committed donors. In a long run, a strong civil society is essential to create resilient nations, capable of dealing with threats to peace, democracy and the rule of law.
Philanthropy in CEE 2020 was conducted in May 2020 together with Kantar among the citizens of CEE countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The results clearly show where we are today, serving as a reference point we have never had before. We share the result free of charge, believing this report will be useful to everyone who wants to make a positive impact on our region – individual and corporate philanthropists, policy makers, non-profit organizations, and others.
The report should be treated as a starting point for further scientific, informational, educational, and philanthropic endeavors.
Calculator for Philanthropists was created in order to encourage philanthropists to plan their giving, among which, apart from time and knowledge, are also financial resources. This is a free online financial tool, available to everyone who wants to calculate the amount of the donation that will give them the maximum tax relief. The calculator operates under Polish, Czech, Slovak and Hungarian tax law. The online tool is supplemented with a Q&A section on tax and law issues concerning philanthropic spendings, available in local languages for all the above mentioned countries. The Calculator was among the initiatives presented at the international event Global Goals Week 2019.
EDU 1.0 Social Impact Fund is a response to the pressing social and economic challenge in the form of a constantly increasing competence gap in the job market. We need students to make educational and professional choices with the awareness of their strengths and the needs of their future employers. Quality of career counseling services provided in schools should be improved, while increasing the prestige of the counseling profession and raising awareness of counseling among students and their parents.
EDU 1.0 was built for Poland but it can be easily replicable to other CEE markets. It is contributing to SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth).
Spreading knowledge and good practices in the field of strategic philanthropy in Central & Eastern Europe, in local languages, are the main goals of the GIVING 2.0 project. Translating the book “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World” by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, co-founder of Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) because it shows, in an accessible and practical way, how to get involved, how to achieve a positive social impact, and what to consider while making philanthropic gifts.
This book is the bestseller of NY Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. It has been recommended by Melinda Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Recovery Fund was created as our response to COVID-19 to minimize the negative impact of the pandemics on the economy, the labor market and businesses by saving jobs and organizations at risk. It is our belief that ensuring resilience of the supply chains is a key activity leading to successful restoration of the national, regional and global economy. Through the Fund, individuals and businesses can support people and organizations who have suffered or may suffer from the pandemic: individuals, entrepreneurs, legal entities, social purpose organizations, business environment institutions or other partners of your choice. You can also support the Fund without specifying the receiving party.