This Thursday, Association Konekt hosted the Philanthropy Forum as part of the USAID Project ‘Partnerships in Giving,’ an annual gathering of the nation’s leaders in philanthropy “. Representatives from the business sector, institutions, and civil society organizations participated at the forum, sharing experiences and developing ideas for greater cooperation.
According to the research conducted by Konekt, half of the companies donate during the year, indicating that our country has great philanthropic potential. According to the World Giving Index, North Macedonia has ascended to a respectable 25th place in terms of citizen donations in 2022, up from 75th in 2013. At a time when unpredictable events in the world influence our everyday lives and the future is full of uncertainty, now is the time for philanthropy to regain its proper place as a driver of positive community change. The forum presented worldwide trends and influences of philanthropy, taking a point of view from Macedonian perspective.
“I hope that through Partnership for Giving, the Government will acknowledge corporate and individual philanthropists as partners in the social compact, rather than just stockholders who can be relied on in times of crisis, as the current pandemic. I encourage all of the business leaders here to embrace philanthropy, become proactive corporate citizens, and strategically invest in the social changes necessary to promote the development of the communities in which they operate. Philanthropy supports democratic freedoms, human rights, and environmental responsibility“, pointed out the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Mr. Eric Meyer.
“Many of us, as individuals, business owners, and managers, open our wallets to support friends, family, and others in need. However, when well-planned and targeted for the benefit of the larger community, donations have the potential to improve conditions in the long run and contribute to the society’s well-being. We are creating donation partnerships in order to increase donations, provide genuine incentives to donors and simple and fun opportunities for all individuals and businesses to contribute to a brighter tomorrow.” said the Executive director of Konekt, Ms. Nikica Kusinikova.
Mr. Fatmir Bitiqi, Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Economic Affairs, stated that “All stakeholders, including the Government, the civil sector, business, and citizens, must be active and caring. I believe that we can and should all take responsibility for how our activities now affect the society in which our children will grow up.”
At the forum, participants shared their experiences and positive examples of philanthropic infrastructure and donating in crisis, including a panel discussion on local infrastructure for smart donating. Finally, the challenges of establishing a favorable environment for increased donation in the context of accelerating development were explored. Participants expressed a readiness to cultivate philanthropic collaborations, work on a better legal framework, join the Club of Responsible Businesses, educate themselves on philanthropy and social responsibility, and the announced online platform for group donations piqued their curiosity.
This forum was organized within the USAID’s Partnerships for Donation Project, implemented by Konekt, in partnership with the European Center for Nonprofit Law, the Economic Chamber of North-west Macedonia, Indigo and the American Chamber of Commerce in North Macedonia.