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Innovative Approaches to NGO Sustainability. ICNL Douglas Rutzen. Renaissance of Civil Society. Historical Inspiration Development of the Sector’s Identity Opposition Emancipation from communist past Independence Creation of distinct identity for the NGO sector

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renaissance of civil society
Renaissance of Civil Society
  • Historical Inspiration
  • Development of the Sector’s Identity
    • Opposition
      • Emancipation from communist past
    • Independence
      • Creation of distinct identity for the NGO sector
      • Blossoming of NGOs and their impact
    • Partnership
  • Key Challenge: Sustainability
  • Dependent on numerous factors, from favorable public image to the availability of competent staff
  • Focus of Presentation: Legal and structural issues fostering the sector’s financial sustainability
scope of discussion
Scope of Discussion
  • Direct Governmental Support
    • Financial and in-kind contributions
    • NGO-government partnerships
  • Indirect Governmental Support / Tax Benefits
  • Corporate and Individual Philanthropy
  • Economic Activities
regional revenue sources
Regional Revenue Sources

Regional Survey by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

  • 33% from public sources
  • 21% from philanthropy
  • 46% from fees and commercial activities
governmental support
Governmental Support
  • Budget Subsidies
    • Hungary and Poland
    • Romania (1.3 million Euro) and Bulgaria (1 million Euro)
  • Grants
    • Slovakia: 23.5 million Euros (.48% of budget)
    • Croatia: 2.67 million Euros from NGO Office
    • Special “Funds”: Estonia and Hungary
    • Romanian Social Fund Law of 1998 and Governmental Decision 306/1997 (anti-racism, xenophobia, etc.)
government support ii
Government Support, II
  • Government Contracting
    • Emerging area
    • Ranges from Bulgaria (NGOs excluded from procurement law) to Czech Republic
  • Local Government
    • Subsidies, grants and contracts
      • Szczecin, Poland: 5 mln PLZ (US$ 1.2 million) to NGOs in 1999
      • Goal is to provide 1% of the local budget to NGOs.
  • Quasi-Governmental Foundations
government support iii
Government Support, III
  • Use of State or Municipal Property
  • Other In-kind Support
    • Gydnia, Poland: NGO columns in municipal newspaper; access to government training
  • “Per Capita” Fees and Vouchers
  • Privatization Proceeds
  • Lotteries
ngo government linkages
NGO-Government Linkages
  • Governmental Liaison Offices
    • Croatia, Hungary (Parliamentary Commission), Kosovo, Poland (Szczecin)
  • Political Liaisons: Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria
  • Compacts
    • Croatia, Estonia, Macedonia
tax exemptions for ngos
Tax Exemptions for NGOs

Exemptions for organizations

  • Income Tax: Estonian model
  • VAT Preferences
  • Customs Duties, Excise Taxes
private philanthropy
Private Philanthropy

Tax Incentives for Giving

  • Tax Deductions
    • Abrogation of Enterprise Income Tax
    • Use of business deductions
  • Tax Allocations
    • Hungarian “1+1% Law” (over 2.3 million Euro); Slovakia and Lithuania
  • Legal Framework for Volunteers
community foundations
Community Foundations
  • Independent organizations that receive funding from a variety of donors and make grants within a specific geographic area, with decisions made by people from the same geographic area.
    • Often, but not always, have endowments
    • Typically organized at local level
community foundations ii
Community Foundations, II
  • Benefits
    • Community identification of issues and problem solving
      • Neutral forum for NGO leaders, business executives, government officials, religious leaders, and academics to address community needs
    • Facilitates corporate and individual philanthropy
community foundations iii
Community Foundations, III
  • Particular interest Western Europe and Central/Eastern Europe
    • Germany
    • Slovakia (12 community foundations)
    • Healthy City Community Foundation of Banska Bistrica-Zvolen.
      • US$300,000 endowment
      • Third largest Slovak foundation
community foundations iv
Community Foundations, IV
  • Trend in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, former Soviet Union
    • Fastest growing form of philanthropy in Australia
    • Zimbabwe example
  • At least 25,000 people
  • Active and creative local government
  • Large and economically sound businesses
  • Active NGO sector
  • Capacity to financially support important

community needs

economic activities
Economic Activities
  • Examples
    • Selling goods
      • related/unrelated
      • Nephrocentrum in Budapest (paper clip factory)
    • Charging fees for service
      • related/unrelated
      • Helsinki Watch - Poland (human rights and tolerance training for police officers and teachers)
    • Cause-related marketing
    • Renting property
    • Passive investment (bank interest, investing assets)
  • Renaissance of Civil Society
  • Sectoral Sustainability Challenge
  • Emergence of Innovative Practices
    • Partnerships with Government,

Business Sector, and Public

  • Estonia’s Pre-eminent

Role in Region


Douglas Rutzen