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European Research Network on Philanthropy

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Masaryk University of Brno
Center for Nonprofit Sector ResearchFile:Logo Masaryk University.svg - Wikimedia Commons


Vladimir Hyanek
Masaryk University of Brno
Center for Nonprofit Sector Research
email: vladimir.hyanek@

The Center for Nonprofit Sector Research at the Masaryk University of Brno in Czechia, was established in 2003. The major academic disciplines are Economics, Law, Management, and Public Administration. Key research topics are Financial management, Sustainability, Charitable giving, Public-nonprofit partnerships, and Civil society transformation. Research questions addressed by the center are, among others: 


  • What factors affect the financial sustainability and vulnerability of nonprofit organizations?
  • What is the impact of public policies and regulation on the behaviour of the nonprofit organizations?
  • What are the specifics of the provision of public services by nonprofit organizations?
  • What are the ways of effective internal capacity building of nonprofit organizations in relation to their readiness for crisis situations?
Introduction to Giving Research in Czech Republic

Marie Hladká, Vladimír Hyánek and Katerina Ronovská[1] & Katarína Stehlíková[2]

Legal framework

The legal basis for philanthropy is now found in the new Czech Civil Code (act. no. 89/2012 Coll.), in effect from 1 Jan 2014. This civil code introduced a range of diverse instruments for asset administration both inter vivos and mortis causa. One notable feature is the broader space for the autonomous will of the property owner/settlor/testator. In comparison with other European codes, the owner of the property has a very wide choice of instruments and solutions from which to select the most suitable one. In foundation law, the Civil Code contains two forms with a legal character: foundation (art. 306 ef. CC) and foundation fund (Art. 394 ef. CC). A foundation can establish an affiliated fund (p?idružený fond, Art. 349 ef.CC). A “trust-like” fund, sv??enský fond, was also introduced (Art. 1445 ef.CC), which is arranged following the Quebec style; it is possible to use it for philanthropy. The affiliated fund and the trust fund do not have separate legal characters.

In inheritance law, it is possible for a testator to express their will in a testament (1494 ef. CC) and in an inheritance contract (Art. 1582 ef. CC). There is also a legacy (1594 ef. CC), which can be made by the testator (in testament) in favour of a legatee.

In obligation law, the donation contract inter vivos (Art. 2055 ef. CC) and the donation contract mortis causa (Art. 2063 ef. CC) are related to philanthropy.

The new legal framework is intended to return Czech law to its European roots and to be more flexible. The future will soon show if the scope of applicability will extend into legal practice.

In administrative (public) law, there is a special legal regime in the tax law: Income Tax Act no. 586/1991 Coll., Tax Act no. 280/2009 Coll., Senate Act on the Acquisition of Immovable Property no. 340/2013 Coll., etc., Public Collection Act no. 117/2001 Coll. and Lottery Act no. 202/1990 Coll. (all of those acts as subsequently amended).


Civil society/philanthropy research is still in its embryonic stages in the Czech Republic. The first attempts at systematic research were not made until the beginning of this century, and today, more than ten years later, there are only a few research centres and not many individuals that have taken up civil society and philanthropy as the principal direction of their study and research. In the decade since 2003, when systematic research started, there have only been two large, long-term, and systematic projects that have produced solid and longitudinal data:

  • Satellite Account of Non-profit Institutions, by the Czech Statistical Office, since 2004;
  • Survey of Public Funding for Non-State Non-Profit Organisations, by the Government Council for Non-State Non-Profit Organisations, since 1999;
  • and one comprehensive mapping project that has covered all the forms of non-profit organisations in the country:
  • Mapping the Non-profit Sector in the Czech Republic, by the Centre for Non-profit Sector Research, 2003-2008.

There are only two research centres in the Czech Republic that are fully devoted to ongoing, systematic research into civil society and the non-profit sector that have a team of researchers and a solid publication output:

  • The Centre for Non-profit Sector Research at Masaryk University, Brno
  • The Department of Civil Society Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague
  • There are other centres of systematic research whose main interest lies in a wider or different field, but which also conduct civil society/non-profit sector research in an ongoing and systematic way as part of that wider field:
  • The Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
  • The Centre for Social and Economic Strategies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague

Finally, there are academic and research institutions where research into civil society and the non-profit sector is implemented, but only by individual academics/researchers scattered around in different departments: The University of Economics, Prague; the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague; Jan Evangelista Purkyn? University, Ústí nad Labem; South-Bohemian University, ?eské Bud?jovice; University of Pardubice; the University of Ostrava; Tomáš Baca University, Zlín; the Silesian University, Opava. Of these, the individuals in most institutions teach and publish articles on the management of NPOs. Only three places have produced more substantial and more systematic research: The University of Economics, Prague, Purkyn? University, and the University of Pardubice.

Overview of giving in the Czech Republic


The legal basis for philanthropy is found in the new Czech Civil Code (act. no. 89/2012 Coll.), in effect from 1 Jan 2014. The Civil Code introduced a range of diverse instruments in the area of asset administration inter vivos and mortis causa. One notable feature is the broader space for the autonomous will of the owner of property/settlor/testator. In comparison with other European codes, the property owner has a very wide selection of instruments and solutions from which to choose.

But the problem of the quality of available resources characterizing giving in the Czech Republic still remains. Given the fragmented data collection methods and the different nature of each resource, as well as due to the unavailability of complete data, we are able to provide aggregate data only in a very reduced structure.

Table 1. Sources of contributions in 2013.

Sources of contribution million EUR percentage

In Vivo (2012)






Corporations 157 26%
Charity lotteries NA NA
Foundations[3] (2012) 33.7 6%
Total 598 100%

Source: Czech Statistical Office, Czech Donors Forum

The problems with mapping giving in the Czech Republic, in terms of its amounts and structure, can be summarized in two areas:

First, there is a lack of reliable and systematically collected data. Academic production in this direction is totally inadequate. This is disturbing because it shows a lack of interest in the surveyed area in the academic world; unfortunately, it is evident that a similar lack of interest is to some extent reflected in the Czech general public.

The only public authority agency that systematically collects data about giving is the CZSO. Its data are the most reliable; however, as demonstrated in the previous parts of our survey study, even this system has its limitations and shortcomings. Even without detailed analysis, it is clear that the available resources do not provide a representative picture of giving in the Czech Republic. The CZSO are still the best developed, but there are exceptions. These include cases where the data are not public; they can only be purchased, and – as is the case with foundations – only as anonymised datasets.

Another public type of data are those provided by the special annual reports of the Government Council for Non-Governmental Non-Profit Organisations, even if they are usually significantly less reliable.

Finally, some data and information are collected by specialized agencies, umbrella NGOs and professional organisations. This can happen in the form of ad hoc surveys, regular yearbooks, limited member databases etc.

However, some donations remain hidden from any statistical monitoring. This applies particularly to the area of distribution of the proceeds from lotteries. The situation is even more complicated because in the Czech Republic there are no typical charity lotteries. Likewise, there is a lack of information on bequests. This is probably the most important reason for a complete change of the Civil Code. This change was crucial and has spread throughout the entire giving area.


[1] Center for Nonprofit Research, Masaryk University, Brno

[2] School of Business Administration, Anlgo-American University, Prague

[3] Giving derived from income from endowment only


Hladká, M., Hyánek, V., Ronovská, K. & Stehlíková, K. (2017) Research on Giving in the Czech Republic. In: Hoolwerf, L.K. & Schuyt, Th.N.M. (eds) Giving in Europe. The state of research on giving in 20 European countries. Amsterdam: Lenthe Publishers.

A comprehensive profile and description of all data sources is available through the member portal.