Ten predictions for philanthropy in the Balkans in 2012

Last week, colleague from London sent an article titled Top 10 predictions for Global Philanthropy in 2012 (http://www.cofinteract.org/rephilanthropy/?p=3748). Posted by John Harvey from The Council on Foundations, article gave an insight into The Council on Foundations leading members views on philanthropy developments in 2012.  

Some frantic emailing to colleagues from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia followed; thanks to famous Balkan solidarity, my colleagues – amidst hectic end-of-the-year activities and on extremely short notice (another Balkan specialty) – found time and energy to think and write about philanthropy in 2012 and beyond in their countries and the region:   

  • Global philanthropic players (foreign donors) will continue to leave the Balkans and cause steady and continuous drop in foreign funding. The others will look for alternative, more efficient ways of funding in the region, turning to local organisations capable of re-granting in an effort to reduce operative costs as to compensate for decrease in available funding.
  • Decrease of funding will bring CSOs and foundations to become more creative and innovative in promoting philanthropy, fundraising from local sources, using new mechanisms and tools and creating matches between donors and their own programs.
  • General development and improvements of the legal and fiscal framework for philanthropy (incentives for giving, specific legal framework for foundations etc), that have already started in some countries will continue and spread through the Balkans.
  • New mechanisms and tools will be developed as to make giving easier. General increase of e-transactions will influence increase of e-philanthropy (online giving); other tools and mechanisms will also develop including payroll giving and monthly pledges. Promotion of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding mechanisms will increase.  
  • Earmarking of philanthropic monies will increase, with two areas particularly strong – social/ humanitarian funding and support to economic activity, entrepreneurship  and employment.
  • Amounts available through corporate giving will be reduced – at least in the near future. Instead, companies will become more strategic, focus on particular target groups and issues and increase non-financial support, such as products, services and volunteer efforts.  
  • Partnerships will become more common – between companies and non-profits, companies and institutions or between all three sectors – in the efforts to respond to the needs in the communities in a more strategic and efficient way. 
  • Individual philanthropy will develop; with on-line giving it will become easier for average citizen to donate. As a result, citizens will become more integrated part of philanthropic efforts.
  • Increase of individual philanthropy will influence increased demands for transparency and accountability on the side of recipients of philanthropic resources.
  • Regional initiatives will become more active: SIGN network will contribute to philanthropy development in the Balkans while other regional actors (i.e. companies) will look for support in addressing regional needs and issues.   

What are your predictions?

A big big thank you to all my colleagues and friends from the Balkans: Zoran, Vesna, Aida and Jasna from Bosnia and Herzegovina; Branka and Drago from Croatia; Nita and Nazim from Kosovo; Zoran, Zoran &Zoran, Branko, Brankica, Irina from Macedonia; Maja and Anto from Montenegro; Andrea and Mia from Serbia.




 Happy Holidays!

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Aleksandra Vesic