Our Initiatives – Philanthropy in CEE 2022 EN

Philanthropy in Europe

Over the last three decades, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have made significant progress in socio-economic development. A steadily growing wealth of societies has become not only a dream but a reality for many. Although it is something to be proud of, there are still many challenges to be tackled in the region. No one could have imagined how challenged we would be in such a short time – first the pandemic, now the war in Ukraine. In light of this, philanthropy can take on a crucial role.

Today we present to you the second edition of our “Philanthropy in Central & Eastern Europe” study. 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.

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Over the past two years, CEE citizens have experienced crises and challenges that have affected community engagement in the region. The global COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and now the war in Ukraine have made it clear that cooperation and mutual support is essential. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) citizens of the region indicate that the current challenges call for more community engagement. During crises as large as the war in Ukraine, CEE citizens become actively involved in supporting those in need, but they also expect commitment from the rest of the world. 52% of the region’s citizens believe that, considering the current geopolitical situation, developed countries should do more to support and promote social engagement in the region.

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


In light of today’s challenges, it should come as no surprise that almost half (48%) of the citizens make financial donations to social causes. Financial engagement can be seen across the board – regardless of age, place of residence, gender, or personal income. Differences can be observed in the average amounts being donated – these are higher for donors aged 30-40, men, and higher income individuals. Taking into account the number of inhabitants in the 7 surveyed countries, we estimate the total value of funds currently donated there at EUR 960 million. However, the potential of these societies is much higher – with proper motivation and removal of barriers, CEE citizens would be willing to donate EUR 2.13 billion for social causes per year.

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


The primary reason we as a society engage in helping others is the general desire to do good. For many people, world affairs or national affairs are a significant driver. Greater social engagement is generated by current crises. In turn, the primary reasons for not getting involved include lack of resources (time, money) and distrust of the social sector. The area of tax relief is definitely a source of untapped potential in the CEE region. Only 42% of respondents have heard of this mechanism, and only 18% among them have benefitted from the relief.

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


Alongside money, time is another important resource available to the region’s citizens. Already one in three (34%) indicate that they have engaged in volunteering in the last 12 months. It is definitely the domain of the young. employee volunteering is becoming an important trend, but only 20% of respondents state that they have the opportunity to engage in social action during their working hours. A similar situation can be observed in the area of pro bono activities. Only 14% of respondents state that their employers support social purpose organizations free of charge as part of their business activities, while as many as 46% of the rest expect their employers to do so, but they don’t.

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


CEE citizens expect businesses to be responsible and actively work to tackle social and environmental problems. Confidence in the sector’s capacity in this respect is very high: as many as 6 in 10 respondents (57%) believe that companies are more likely to solve social problems than governments. Significantly, CEE citizens appreciate socially responsible brands and are willing to reward them with their consumer choices. It is worth noting that the narrative used by large companies in their internal strategies and, increasingly, communications has not yet reached public awareness. Only 11% of CEE citizens have come across the acronym ESG. What else is expected of companies? It is certainly important that their activities are visible, transparent, and coherent.

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


CEE citizens believe that most problems should be solved by the public administration and governments, but that these tasks are being currently performed more by the social and private sector as well as individual donors. CEE citizens expect cross-sector collaboration and common action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. The areas which should be largely addressed by businesses in cooperation with public administration include Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, and Goal 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure.

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


Knowledge in the area of social responsibility is still fragmentary. There is a lack of structured educational activities. Most respondents (61%) indicate that social engagement should be taught from an early age; 75% believe that it should be instilled by parents, while 69% think that information about it should be provided by schools. Most CEE citizens believe that philanthropy is a part of financial education (58%) and should be promoted by banks (63%).

[to find out more, please download Executive Summary]


Joining forces is crucial to achieving true, long-lasting impact. Global challenges have reached such a scale and level of complexity that it is impossible to tackle them alone. We need your engagement. Please support our research:

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