From October 1 to 7 Bulgaria and 23 other European countries mark the Week of Foundations and Donors. There are over 144,000 foundations and Europe. In 2017 their donations amounted to over EUR 60 billion. The money raised in the donation campaigns are invested in various causes: science, nature conservation, social services, education and healthcare, human rights and democracy, youth activities, art and culture.
On October 5 the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum is to announce the annual analysis about philanthropy in Bulgaria – who donates money, how much money was donated and what the Bulgarians are donating money for. On October 1 the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum published some preliminary data announced by Mediapool agency. As a result, Mediapool frontpaged a headline: The “Philanthropy Environment in Bulgaria worsens”. This statement is supported by the 2018 Global Philanthropy Environment Index of Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. Bulgaria received an individual index of 3.75 (the maximum index is 5.0) and ranked 18th among 30 European countries. The individual Philanthropy Environment Index depends on the opportunities for fundraising activities, tax alleviations, potential for cross-border cooperation, political, social and cultural characteristics of the environment. In countries like Poland, Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary the Philanthropy Environment has worsened. As a result, some of the foundations cease activity and others suspend projects or face difficulties in fulfilling their fundraising campaigns. Some foundations are even forced to leave the countries they operate in.
The Week of Foundations and Donors in Sofia began with a street installation on Sveta Nedelya central square. Fifty of the parking pegs were transformed into matches as a symbol of the main message of the campaign “Light On” that the flame of philanthropy should be lit and passed on. The calendar of this year’s campaign of the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum on the occasion of the European Day of Foundations and Donors includes a wide range of initiatives and campaigns- for support of elderly people, disadvantaged children and students. Some initiatives aim at boosting volunteers’ culture among the employees to fulfill environmental and educations causes, etc.
Editor: Stoimen Pavlov
English version: Kostadin Atanasov