In January 2013, our organization began implementation of a project titled Improvement of Philanthropic Environment for Consolidation of the NGO Sector in Lithuania. The long-term goal of the project is to stimulate society‘s positive attitude towards philanthropy and charity. The project is supported by the Lithuanian–Swiss Cooperation Programme.
Duration of the Project is 11 months. The total budget or the Project is 167.144,40 Litas.

IMPROVMENT OF PHILANTHROPIC ENVIRONMENT FOR CONSOLIDATION OF THE NGO SECTOR IN LITHUANIA
ABOUT ORGANIZATION IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT
The Charity and Support Fund the Civic Responsibility Foundation (hereinafter referred to CRF) was established at the end of 2006 by people who worked and served on the board of its predecessor foundation the Baltic-American Partnership Program in Lithuania (BAPP).
Goals of the CRF are as follows: promoting philanthropy in the country, providing services to donors (designing donor support strategies, administration of donor support, coordination of donor priorities with potential activities of support), providing consultations to support recipients, fundraising and provision of support to NGOs by way of open competitions.
To date the organization has implemented several grant-making competitions. The support came from several businesses, the American Embassy as well as individuals. Because of the financial and economic crisis, it has been still difficult to raise funds. We therefore for the past two years have been doing things that do not require large funds: we have been improving our institutional capacity, exploring new trends of philanthropy, we have been consulting non-governmental organizations, and exploring some non-tapped areas of activities. A couple of our last projects were as follows: implementing an online portal www.pagalbadaiktais.lt, and administrating an NGO hive.
The organization‘s experience in the field of the Project funded by the Swiss NGO Fund
Our organization has been working in the field of philanthropy for about fifteen years:
-    We have developed a map of charity and support funds in Lithuania;
-    We have organized over ten presentations on philanthropy, support, charity, fund-raising and grant-making to business companies;
-    We have been consulting Lithuanian community foundations, and have been promoting them both in Lithuania and outside the country;
-    We have been regularly attending and organizing local seminars, as well as attending international conferences and seminars on philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, NGO development, and other issues;
-    We have explored specifics of the NGO sector and donor development with numerous European, Canadian and American experts and philanthropists;
-    A few years ago we enjoyed membership with such international organizations as European Foundation Centre and European Venture Philanthropy Association.
We are proud of our cooperation with Via Nadace in Czech Republic, and a Latvian Fund „Partners in Ideas Fund“.
The Basics for a Project Supported by the Swiss NGO Fund
According to the data from Gallup’s WorldView World Poll of a survey of 153 countries (reported by Charities Aid Foundation in 2010 ), where people were asked of a charitable act they had undertaken in the past three months (donated money, volunteered time, helped a stranger), Lithuania was only 147th (for comparison - Switzerland – was in the 5th place). In 2011  Lithuania has risen to 143rd place, while in 2012  it has been reported as 105.
Charity and philanthropy can and should play a key role in strengthening civil society in the country. Support from private individuals (natural and legal) is very important at the moment when there is a huge lack and there will hardly ever be sufficient government and municipal financial support for civic initiatives and advocacy non-governmental. Furthermore, most of NGOs are not ready yet to engage in social business, that is, are not ready to earn from own services or products not only because of their particular nature but also because of their particular priorities and because advocacy NGOs need to be independent from the government in they want to make their work well.
Support, sponsorship and donations both from the business sector, as well as from individuals was on the rise in the period from 2002 through 2007. For example, the following charitable events were launched in the country: a National Progress Prize-giving ceremony, a charity telemarathon of a Kindness Day by LNK TV broadcast, a "Christmas Dreams Come True” campaign, "Market of Misfortunes”, etc. However, at the onset of the financial crisis, charitable giving and financial support have decreased sharply, not to mention the financial support for the NGO sector.
On the other hand, the general public and potential donors still do not have a good understanding of potential philanthropic impact. Only a small part of big business companies in Lithuania have their own support programs. This is partly reflected in a 2005 survey of 50 large and 200 small and medium-sized companies commissioned by the BAPP, and conducted by the TNS Gallup . An important aspect of corporate giving in the country is the fact one that support or grant-making programmes of large companies are usually closely related with their business field, and publicity of giving is regarded more important than the social impact of support.
That study also showed that Lithuanian business sector is inclined to provide support and mainly supports education and culture, socially vulnerable groups (children and youth, the disabled, the elderly, and poor families), and professional sports. Business enterprises almost do not support institutional capacity building of non-governmental organizations, and even less support NGO advocacy initiatives, government monitoring, and influencing government decision-making.
Community foundations operating in several regions of Lithuania have been also unable to raise funds in order to provide adequate support to either strengthen their local communities and non-governmental organizations, or provide support to NGO activities. It is a result of lack of interest by local businesses and individual donors in activities by the foundations, overall lack of understanding of the mission of non-governmental organizations, which in the end leads to mistrust of NGOs, and hence the reluctance to support them.
Other charity funds operating in Lithuania do not coordinate their activities. With the support from EEE and the Norwegian financial mechanism in 2010, our organization developed a "map of funds". Unfortunately, we were not able to obtain as much information as we wanted to because like most NGOs, and especially smaller ones working not only in the regions but also in the major cities, as well as charities we interviewed, were not at all willing to share their data. Furthermore, quite a few of them reported insufficient statistical data about their financial sources, as well as missing other important information. Lithuania foundations are not at all willing to share their experiences and lessons learned, cooperation between them is only limited. It is also true that Lithuanian foundations cooperate only to the minimum. Furthermore, support as such is in most cases is not monetary but in-kind. Finally, there is hardly any funds available for institutional building of NGOs.
It is a pity that we lack easily accessible and credible information and/or statistics about provision of financial support to the NGO sector. Besides, media coverage of the NGO sector, statistics or information on charity giving and philanthropy in general is almost zero. The above mentioned limitations prevent the society from confidence in NGOs, development of the sector’s overall capacities to increase NGO participation in public life, provision of services and their advocacy work.
Long term goal of the project – developing Lithuanian society’s positive attitude towards philanthropy and charity with the aim of building NGO sector’s sustainability.

Aims of the project:
-    Promote public interest in philanthropy and charity;
-    Increase public confidence in the non-governmental organizations and their benefit for the society;
-    Present to the society the best examples of philanthropy and charity;
-    Develop attractive and easily accessible means of self-education;
-    Share the experience of development of philanthropy with the Swiss Confederation and some other European countries.
Tasks of the project:
-    Define the level of charitable giving to NGOs
-    Develop an on-line tool for education of the society about philanthropy;
-    Install an instrument securing NGO financial transparency;
-    Share best practicies of NGO funding and transparency with foreign partners or colleagues.

Planned activities:

Focus group discussions

We will hold no less than 10 focus group discussions targeted at the following issues: barriers for giving to NGOs by individuals and measures to overcome them, issues of philanthropy worth sharing with the public at large, relevant legal measures for promotion and encouragement of philanthropy, launching a procedure (charity navigator) for issuing a special NGO label.

Providing consultations to NGOs

Consultations on fund-raising will be provided to those NGOs which have not received funding for similar activities from the NGO Fund of the Lithuanian-Swiss Cooperation Programme. We have been planning to provide consultations to no less than 30 NGOs.

Market Research

The study aims to determine the volume of giving to non-governmental organizations by Lithuanian population. In 2003 a survey on the approach to philanthropy was conducted at the initiative of the Open Society Fund-Lithuania. In 2005, the Baltic-American Partnership Program in Lithuania commissioned a survey on the attitude towards giving and support by large, small and medium-sized Lithuanian companies. In 2010, our organization conducted a research of fund-raising by 130 NGOs which in the past had been supported by the Netherlands Cooperation Funds. The research was part of a project funded by EEE and Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

Newsletter

Three years ago our organization was planning to issue a magazine on philanthropy. Unfortunately, we failed to do this because of lack of funding. This time we decided to launch a more simple tool for promotion of philanthropy and giving – a least several issues of a Newsletter on philanthropy.

NGO Charity Navigator

The title of this activity comes from abroad. We have been attempting to also develop an electronic tool for NGOs willing to share with the public their financial resources and some other data. The tool could benefit not only NGOs but also potential NVO donors, and the society at large.
Internship in Switzerland
Two staff people of the organization will go to Switzerland for an internship. The goal of the study visit is to get acquainted with philanthropic traditions and practices and tendencies of giving in Switzerland. Besides, we will identify a potential speaker for an international conference which will take place in Lithuania at the end of the project.

An international conference

An international conference „The best philanthropic practice abroad“ will be held in Lithuania in autumn 2013. The conference should result in some recommendations for the Lithuanian Government and governmental institutions, educational institutions and NGOs. We will expect some 50 participants, and three or four foreign speakers.

Expected impact
The project is expected to meet the overall goal of the Swiss NGO Fund – promotion of civil society and strengthening of civic organizations.

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"Kiekvieno žmogaus pareiga grąžinti pasauliui mažiausiai tiek, kiek iš jo paėmė." Albertas Einšteinas
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