Encourage donations to socially useful NGOs

The state should encourage donations only to effective, transparent and
socially useful NGOs

The Rogachev Federal Centre for Paediatric
Haematology, Oncology and Immunology received 13.4% of its funding from charitable
donations in 2012. It uses new drugs, searches for bone marrow donors in
international registers, provides help with treatment at home, social and
physical rehabilitation, scientific and training work with doctors – most of
these additional activities are funded from charitable donations. Donations
totalled 145 m roubles.


This information was shared at a session of the
government Council on charity in the social welfare sector, attended by Health
Ministry officials, charities, experts, and doctors. They discussed how to
attract more funds into the social sphere from outside the state budget. To
maintain a steady income, charitable giving needs to be made easy for individuals
and interesting for businesses, participants commented. A range of ways of
giving are needed – at ATMs, in shops, via the internet and texting, so that
people can give when they choose to, said Elena Topoleva, Chairman of the
Commission on Social Policy, Labour Relations, and Quality of Life of the
Public Chamber. When the donor does not identify himself, then there should be
a limit placed on the size of donation, as there is with other financial
operations. ATM owners themselves asked for other limits to be placed. These
should all be discussed with the appropriate authorities.


Once again the issue of taxation of charitable organisations
was raised. The state should only encourage charitable giving to certain NGOs –
those which are effective, transparent and socially useful, said Topoleva, raising
the matter of misuse of tax concessions, a vexatious topic for the third
sector. “We see the procedures as a kind of voluntary registration of NGOs.
They should agree also to observe certain demands concerning the use of
property and in their transparency after they are registered. In return they
should also be entitled to ask for support from the state. Other NGOs should
keep the benefits and obligations which exist today, she suggested.” But funds
are not everything. Work should continue on setting up boards of trustees in
social NGOs and other checks and balances, as this ensures that funds are well
spent  and the NGO works well.



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