Seven proposals for facilitating donating in Serbia
The Coalition for Giving, referred a proposal of measures to the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Philanthropy Development Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, of which the Coalition for Giving is a member, to encourage more donations and enable more efficient assistance to the most vulnerable population.
The measures were identified based on the needs of civil society and other relevant actors, but also based on examples of good practices from other countries and daily contact with citizens, institutions, companies, and other non-profit organizations.
Ana Košel, director of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, emphasized that at this moment it is highly important for the state, private, and civil sectors to unite and work together to develop philanthropic infrastructure. „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 and willingness to share with others and create partnerships that show the power of unity in solving problems,“ said Ana Košel.
The first proposed measure is the establishment of a working body within the Philanthropy Development Council, which would be in charge of coordinating cooperation with civil society. Another proposed measure is the establishment of a Compensation Fund for VAT refund to non-profit organizations that donate goods and services, to more actively involve the corporate sector in campaigns organized by the non-governmental sector. The third proposed measure refers to the temporary abolition of the VAT on food donation to reduce food waste, which is much needed by a large number of endangered fellow citizens. It is necessary to promote the Instruction for the Realization of Tax Reliefs for Donors, which was prepared by the Tax Administration on the recommendation of the Coalition for Giving and the Philanthropy Development Council, which provides companies with information on how to partially reduce the income tax, which encourages donations.
In addition to the corporate sector, it is necessary to stimulate citizens to contribute with their donations and solidarity. Therefore, the Coalition appeals to the National Bank to abolish the collection of bank fees and for the payments of donations to assigned accounts of non-profit organizations during the state of emergency. Twelve banks no longer charge donation fees. Also, to encourage donations from abroad, it is proposed to introduce PayPal donations, meaning enabling both our citizens and foreign citizens to quickly and easily donate to the Republic of Serbia and domestic non-profit organizations through these platforms. Finally, it is necessary to provide movement permits to employees in non-profit organizations, to continue with the necessary assistance on the field during the prohibition of movement and state of emergency.
The Framework for Giving project is funded by USAID and implemented by the Coalition for Giving led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. Other Coalition members are the Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Kolektiv, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum, the Responsible Business Forum, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Download the suggested recommendations here.