Reasons for Giving: Understanding Why People are Philanthropic

Over the course of this blog, we’ve written about various ways that philanthropy can be manifested here in the Balkans and elsewhere. You can give in both small in big ways. (Yes, I say that a lot, but it’s a pretty major thing to remember.) Going back to our definition of philanthropy in a broad Read more

October 28, 2016

Feeling the Philanthropy Groove

Around the world, one of the best ways to organize a philanthropic event is through the benefit concert. These events can be great ways for local organizations to get together and connect with their communities. They can also be flexible depending on the size of your organization or your fundraising team. These events can range Read more

September 19, 2016

Bulgarian Donor’s Forum: can the rest of us do it as well?

While, over the years, there were lot of attempts to create functioning donors’ forums in Western Balkans countries, I don’t know of any example (if you do, please share) that it really worked both in terms of time as well as achieving their purpose. Now, when so many of the foreign donors left (or are in the process of leaving), it seems that – in most of the countries – we even stop attempting to create such forums.

And that’s pity, because functioning donors forum can have even more important role now, when we have local philanthropic organizations and entities, and why not, individual philanthropists. Promoting and advocating for philanthropy would be much more successful with combination of local players – such as foundations and corporations; not to say anything about supporting local donors to give more effectively. And, Bulgarian Donors Forum proves this!


June 6, 2013

Part 4 of 3 series: What to Focus On for the Continued Development of the Philanthropy in 2013

Admittedly being late in publishing, we present the final (this time for real :)) piece of collated thoughts of our virtual panel of foundation professionals. While the previous three pieces dealt with what did and didn’t happen in 2012, this blog is about what should be the focus to support the development of philanthropy in 2013?

According to our colleagues, there are five distinctive areas in which we as a sector need to push stronger this year:

May 16, 2013

Big Brother, a guerilla performance, a new heart…or shaming Serbia into giving

Last Monday, my FB account was overwhelmed by a shared YouTube video of Sergej Trifunovic’s (a well-known and somewhat controversial Serbian actor) speech that he gave on VIP Big Brother.  

Sergej, who was invited to appear as a guest in the studio during the ongoing BB show used his interview time for something that was pretty much a guerilla performance. Instead of talking about BB and its celebrity contestants, he used his time to scold the whole of Serbia for spending money on SMSes for voting on BB and asked that instead people donate money for a new heart for little Tijana Ognjanovic…and boy, was he rough!!!

April 9, 2013

Why developing philanthropy is not a waste of time

Zoran Stojkovski’s article about local NGOs and local philanthropy definitely provoked me to share some of the thoughts on this issue. To start with data, Zoran shared that in Macedonia, “less than 10% of donations and sponsorships from local business sector goes to NGOs”. Not that is much different in other countries: in Bosnia and Herzegovina only about 17% of CSO report community contributions and 12% business contributions; in Croatia only 6,2% of CSOs income comes from companies; in Serbia, in the most recent research, 35% of CSOs stated financial support from business and 11% support from citizens. Last weeks’ post from Turkey reports that over 87% of individuals prefers direct giving as opposed to giving to CSOs. Just to back up this data, last years’ media monitoring showed that institutions are “beating” CSOs as recipients of the donations in all countries except Croatia.

March 16, 2012

Local NGOs and Local Philanthropy – A natural match or… not quite?

Thinking about how to introduce and support undertaking more fundraising activities for mobilization of local resources to NGOs from Macedonia, CIRa in 2007 introduced so called “Philanthropy Development Grants (PDG)” under USAID funded CSSP- type of challenge grants where we offered to match all funds raised from local sources up to 5000 US$. Most of 13 organizations supported, succeed in their fundraising efforts (total of around 50.000 US$ from local resources raised) and especially they have stressed positive impact that their local fundraising efforts made to increasing their visibility on local level. The reaction of one NGO that was not so successful (only 525 US$ raised out of Silent Auction they organized) sharing their disappointment was” if we spend a month in project proposal development, than we will have raised 70.000 US$, and that for us organizing local fundraising event is simply wasting of time”. Except few organizations that have their annual budget covered from individual and corporate donations (i.e. Borka-local association that fight against breast cancer), most NGOs in Macedonia still think like NGO from example described above and believe that they will receive grant from remaining grant programs of international donors.

March 2, 2012

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 ( 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:  

December 23, 2011