The citizens of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) know how to mobilize in the face of crises. COVID-19 pandemic awakened the philanthropic potential of 35% of CEE citizens; due to the war in Ukraine more than half donated money (50%) and medical or food supplies (40%). However, research shows that sustaining this engagement is the biggest challenge and that support from the Western countries in developing the region’s social impact ecosystem is still needed.
The report “Unlocking private capital for social good in Central & Eastern Europe” is a comprehensive analysis of the research conducted by the Social Impact Alliance for Central & Eastern Europe (an independent, apolitical think tank) between 2020 and 2023 in collaboration with more than 230 key stakeholders and decision-makers in 11 countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The quantitative research was expanded to Ukraine.
“Over the past 4 years, we have sought answers to the question of how to unlock private capital for social good in Central & Eastern Europe. We clearly see that after approximately 30 years of a free market economy in the region, both individuals and companies now possess the means and willingness to contribute. It is a good time to start making changes,” says Anna Korzeniewska, founder of the think tank.
Detailed analysis of the data made it possible not only to identify barriers to the development of social engagement of specific target groups and to formulate recommendations, but also to begin developing measures for implementing the necessary changes. According to the report, most CEE individuals and companies do not perceive social responsibility as an integral part of their lifestyle or business operations. It is still a rather spontaneous and reactive activity, driven mainly by emotions. However, the steady economic growth of the region results in a growing wealth of its society. With the right motivation, individual giving can double (from EUR 2.7 billion to EUR 5.5 billion).
Research clearly shows that to accelerate the positive changes, CEE region needs a wise guidance and funding from the West, especially for infrastructure purposes that regional donors are not yet ready to support. 52% of the region's citizens believe that, considering the present geopolitical situation, the engagement of more developed countries in the development of the region is essential.
The geographical scope of the study was extended to Ukraine because the war was the driving force for many businesses and individuals to start giving. The overall assessment of foreign aid is very positive; 74% of Ukrainians rate it as good or very good. The perception of who is currently supporting the country the most is clear: the United States, the United Kingdom, and neighboring countries. However, Ukrainians are concerned that a prolonged war could lead to a decline in foreign aid.
Company Name: Social Impact Alliance for Central & Eastern Europe (CEE)
Contact Person: Anna Korzeniewska
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