26. 05. 2017 Pontis Foundation

We know what companies in Slovakia most often contribute to

The Pontis Foundation has looked into companies’ philanthropic investments.

The Pontis Foundation has conducted a survey of Slovak companies’ philanthropic investments. The survey used the method of exploring their annual reports, CSR reports, or conducting personal interviews. It has found out which areas Slovak companies invest in with regard to corporate philanthropy. 

The Pontis Foundation has explored 47 companies who made the largest donations or assigned the largest shares of resources in 2015. They allocated a total of nearly EUR 14 million. It is estimated that the Pontis Foundation has explored approximately 40% of corporate resources. The amount included both financial and in-kind support. The financial resources included direct donations and tax assignations. The in-kind support refers to the value of new or amortized material donations as well as volunteering costs and employees’ pro bono time during the working hours.

This was the second time that the Pontis Foundation has conducted the survey. In 2012 it explored a similar amount of money, using a different method – the data were collected only through personal interviews.

Most support goes to education

Education is the most supported area (22.11%). Most funding goes to regional schools (48.35%) and informal education for children and the youth (32.69%), the least to research (1.3%). “59% of the donations can be classified as a compensatory type of support. Such support does not solve problems of the education system as a whole, but offers compensation for the shortcomings to particular individuals and institutions,” explains Norbert Maur, Project Manager at the Pontis Foundation. 21% of the funding goes to development. Such support is aimed at spreading the acquired knowledge and know-how. 20% of the funds are classified as a transformatory type of support – they contribute to a systemic change in education in Slovakia. 

Healthcare, art, and sport at the top

Healthcare and health (14.36%) seem to be the second most supported area. There has been an increase of over 5% compared to 2012. This rise has been due to the support that the Endowment Fund Kia Motors Slovakia provided for the reconstruction of the Žilina hospital (EUR 496,387.01), due to the philanthropic activities of the J&T Foundation and the Lidl Endowment Fund at the Pontis.

The third most supported area was art and culture (13.71%). Despite a fall of 8%, art still constitutes a significant area of support. As expected, there has been a decrease in support for the activities of Košice-The European Culture Capital 2013 and in funding for the rescue of cultural heritage and sights in Slovakia under the programme Let’s Restore Our House, which is implemented by the SPP Foundation and the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.

Sport has also been a popular area of support (13.3%). It has been supported by a significant amount of money (EUR 1.9 million) and by a high number of companies (28). There has been an increase of over 7% in the last three years.  

A large proportion of funds goes to an unidentified area (12.49%), which includes unspecific topics. “We are speaking, for example, of employee grant programmes of corporate foundations and corporate funds which support several areas simultaneously or community development. This area probably includes also projects which support the development of volunteering,” says Maur.

An increase of almost 3 per cent compared to 2012 has been recorded in support for disadvantaged and marginalized groups (4.63%).

The most considerable decrease in the environment

A significant decrease compared to 2012 has been recorded in the area of the environment (3.41%). The support has declined by almost 15%, which was caused by less funding in the non-investment fund EkoFond.

The area of social services (11.38%), on the other hand, remains quite stable compared to 2012. There has been no major change in the support of socially beneficial entrepreneurship, start-ups, economic development (1.64 %)transparency and corruption elimination (0.75 %), or humanitarian aid (0.93 %). Support for both of these areas is one of the lowest. 

Human rights in the background

In 2015 the Pontis Foundation decided to follow two more areas. Human rights achieved only 0.09%. Organization of volunteer events, despite being supported by nearly a half of the followed companies, accounted for 1.21%. The reason for this is that the organization of a volunteer event is not costly and not all the companies were able to assess the time of the employees that had participated in volunteer events. Some funding related to this area may be hidden in the unidentified area, which includes several employee grant programmes supporting volunteering. 

New phenomena in philanthropy

According to sociologist Martin Bútora, support provided by Slovak companies is essential. “Should this support disappear, life in Slovakia would change dramatically,“ he says. Despite that, he believes that “the volume of funds provided, however significant it is, is very small. In Slovakia there is a large number of people who long for being heard and who would do more if their conditions were better and if they received some support.“ 

Various surveys and findings helped him formulate several proposals for the future:

  • Enable local activists to respond to local problems through small grants
  • Offer grants without complicated grant schemes which will also allow the less experienced to apply
  • Support the networking of local initiatives
  • Like in the case of start-ups, look for risk capital to support civic activities
  • Support capacities allowing non-governmental organizations to communicate about their work, aims, or results better
  • Support projects focused on strengthening liberal democracy, including intergenerational dialogues
  • Support projects focused on coping with anti-establishment extremism
  • Support projects focused on improving transparency and fighting corruption
  • Support projects strengthening civil responsibility and participation

Devote more time to young people, look for a suitable way and form of approaching them

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