Seven proposals to make giving in Serbia easier
Belgrade, March 27, 2020 – The Coalition for Giving has proposed a set of measures to the Serbian government and the Serbian Philanthropy Council, chaired by Prime Minister, which the Coalition is a member of, in order to encourage more donations and enable more efficient activities with the goal to help the most vulnerable members of the society.
These measures were identified based on the needs of local civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders as well as on the examples of good practice from other countries and everyday contact with citizens, institutions, companies and other non-profit organisations.
Ana Koeshall, Director of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, pointed out that it has never been more important for the public, private and civil sector to join forces and work together to promote philanthropy. “On behalf of the Coalition for Giving, I would like to remind all citizens of Serbia of our rich history during which we have overcome many challenges thanks to philanthropy, solidarity, willingness to share with others, and creating partnerships that demonstrate the power of joined forces in problem solving” said Ana Koeshall.
The first proposed measure is to form a working body within the Philanthropy Council, which will be in charge of coordinating the cooperation with civil society and their assistance efforts. Another recommendation is to set up a Compensation Fund for VAT return for non-profit organizations donating goods and services for the public benefit, in order for the corporate sector to participate even more in the campaigns organized by the non-government sector. The third proposal is to temporarily remove VAT on food donations in order to reduce wasting food which is more than necessary for a large number of vulnerable fellow citizens. It is also required to promote the Guideline on the tax reliefs for donors, made by Tax Administration after a recommendation from the Coalition and the Philanthropy Council, which will provide information for companies about how they can get partial tax reduction on their income tax thus encouraging more donations.
In addition to the corporate sector, it is also necessary to encourage the citizens to contribute with their own donations and solidarity. Because of that, the Coalition is calling on the National Bank to remove commission fees for making donations to non-profit organizations’ accounts during the state of emergency. Twelve banks have already removed the commission fees for the donations. Additionally, in order to encourage donations from abroad, the introduction of PayPal donations is recommended, which will enable domestic and foreign citizens to donate simply and fast to the Republic of Serbia and non-profits through these platforms. Finally, it is necessary to ensure movement permits for employees in nonprofits, so that they can continue providing necessary help in the field.
The Framework for Giving Project is funded by the USAID, and implemented by the Coalition for Giving led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. Other Coalition members include the Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Kolektiv, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum, the Responsible Business Forum, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
For more information about the Framework for Giving Project, please contact Sonja Nenić Andreev via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at +381 62 778 796. For more information about the USAID, please contact Mirjana Vukša-Zavišić via email at email@example.com or via phone at +381 65 316 45 30.