MPs in Slovenia have approved a new charity Act, which specifies the creation of a fund to support the development of NGOs in the country.
The new NGO Act introduces a uniform definition of non-governmental organisations, enabling them all to enjoy ‘public benefit’ status, providing greater clarity and a more level playing field for the sector.
The Act, which came into force last month, also defines the roles of different public bodies responsible for providing an enabling environment for NGOs. The onus now lies with government to create strategies for the development of the NGO sector in Slovenia.
The NGO fund was written into the Act in response to a successful lobbying drive by the Association of Friends of Youth, CNVOS and Slovenian Philanthropy, supported by 200 charitable organisations. It will see un-distributed funds from the nation’s income tax donation scheme allocated towards developing the sector. The fund will be managed by the Ministry of Public Administration, who will distribute an estimated €4-5million to Slovenian NGOs annually.
Commenting on the new fund, Livija Rojc Štremfelj, president of Slovenian fundraising association ZRNO said:
“This is a big step forward for all Slovenian NGOs. The NGO Act helps ensure all organisations that work for public benefit are defined in this way and treated equally. As a sector, we are working hard to build employment and attract volunteers. The new fund enables organisations to apply for funding that will strengthen and develop their programmes and core operations, providing better for both their beneficiaries and employees.”