SlovakiaEuropean Research Network on Philanthropy
Introduction on Giving Research in Slovakia
Boris Strecanský and Radana Dešcíková
The overall situation of the research of giving in Slovakia can be characterised as less developed and not yet grown in a separate research area. There has not yet been any systematic production of research knowledge on this issue in Slovakia. Efforts by different players are scattered .This document attempts to capture the diversity of this field of research in Slovakia as of 2015 and its key players.
Academic research represented by research articles suggests that the topic of giving is not within the research focus of universities and academies of science. There is no single research article by Slovak social and economic scientists on giving. This is also reflected in surveying digital catalogues of bachelor and master theses at universities.
An interesting indicator reflecting this is the effort of the Center for Philanthropy, which organises an annual competition and award for the best student bachelor and master thesis on the topic of philanthropy and giving since 2007. Typically, 6 – 12 works are reviewed annually and less than a quarter deal with some aspects of private individual, corporate or foundation giving. These would be discussed most typically from the perspective of psychology, sociology, economics and management studies.
The bulk of the existing production of knowledge on giving by individuals, corporations or foundations has been conducted by non-profit sector actors and their associations or corporations. Commonly, it has a character of analytical sector studies combining representative empirical public opinion surveys or surveys with the target population (for example, corporations). This analytical production typically presents basic information and data on giving by individuals, corporations and foundations – without an explicit research framework, questions and hypotheses typical for an academic type of research.
Also, corporations commission research either for their PR purposes or for their internal purposes – for example, marketing analysis related to their social responsibility. Research outputs related to PR purposes are publicly available. Research that serves internal corporate purposes is privately owned.
The most important institution regarding the collection and publication of hard data on socio-economic development in Slovakia is the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. It maintains the SLOVSTAT database, which presents time series data on various indicators. On the statistical research on households, it captures the expenditure structure of households including financial gifts.
On the giving of corporations, the relevant data are available within the Ministry of Finance Tax Authority and the Ministry’s think tank Institute of Financial Policy (IFP).
Another relevant data storage on giving is the Registry of Financial Statements, which collects financial statements from corporations and some non-profit organisations. These data are accessible online and provide some insight into giving mostly in the corporate sector, but also among foundations.
There are no recent studies on philanthropic giving that would be based on the hard statistical data of households or through their tax returns.
Annual studies on corporate giving were produced by the above-mentioned Donors Forum between 2005 – 2009 based on surveys of a couple of dozen corporations operating in Slovakia.
The Donors Forum also produced annual analytical reports on the State of Slovak Foundations for 2005 – 2009, which was based on the reported data by foundations in their annual reports submitted to the registration authority. On the foundations, another type of survey was produced annually between 2006 – 2012 by the Center for Philanthropy, which ranked the foundations based on their economic activity and published basic economic data on foundations.
Overview of Giving in Slovakia
The sources of contributions are only indirectly identified through the statistics of non-profit organisations’ income.
Table 1 Sources of contributions in 2013 in millions
|Sources of contribution
The uses of the contributions are not available due to the lack of available data.
Based on the research landscape, data and data sources it can be concluded that:
- Giving in Slovakia is insufficiently gathered within the statistics and in there is a lack of basic quantitative and qualitative information on its size, orientation and sources.
- There is limited attention paid towards giving from the academic research community.The picture of giving in Slovakia is not representative due to the lack of statistical data on its sources and orientation. The current efforts of the government in the gradual conversion from analogue to digital interaction with taxpayers or accounting units opens up new opportunities for accessing the data in a comprehensive and real-time mode. Generally, the situation with the data on giving is very poor, in particular, the more in-depth understanding of where the gifts go in terms of goals or areas. There is relatively rich data on foundations, which can be retrieved through a thorough review of their annual reports, but which require an additional effort. Similarly, there are data available on corporations, although it requires an effort to connect through the API at the Registry of Financial Statements. Limitations on the data will continue on the giving of individuals due to the lack of tax incentives for giving and no mechanisms of the tax system to capture the giving among households or individuals, except for selective surveys or public opinion surveys. Completely unavailable are data on bequests, and this area deserves a special research focus to better understand what really happens there. Charitable lotteries are non-existent in Slovakia, so there is nothing to report on.
1] Center for Philanthropy, Bratislava
 For example, in relationship to studying the sources of financing of non-profit organisations or their fundraising.
 In 2010 the award enlarged its scope to the Czech Republic due to the mutual language proximity.
 Zborník zo siedmeho ro?níka sú?aže o najlepšiu bakalársku alebo diplomovú a dizerta?nú prácu na tému filantropia, dobrovo?níctvo a tretí sektor. [Almanac of the 7th Annual Competition for Best Bachelors, Diploma or Dissertation Thesis on the Topics of Philanthropy, Volunteering and Third Sector]. 2013. Centrum pre filantropiu. Electronically available at: http://www.cpf.sk/files/files/zbornik7-web.pdf
 For example, the Children of Slovakia Foundation in 2004 and then in 2007 the Donors Forum – an association of foundations and grant-makers – commissioned a quantitative representative study on philanthropic giving in Slovakia through a public opinion survey.
 See the press release of TNS Global s.r.o. ‘Slováci podporujú charitu’ [Slovaks support charitable giving], which presents the outcome of simple empirical survey on charitable giving in Slovakia by individuals. http://www.tns-global.sk/sites/default/files/files/ts1210_charita.pdf
 Prieskum o stave a trendoch v oblasti firemnej filantropie na Slovensku [Survey on the State and Trends in Corporate Philanthropy in Slovakia in 2007], Internal Report, Donors Forum and Trend Weekly, Fórum donorov, 2008. Abstract online available at: http://www.cpf.sk/files/files/AbstraktFF2008.pdf
Správa o stave slovenských nadácii. Analýza údajov za r. 2008 [Report on the State of Slovak Foundations. Analysis of data for 2008], Internal Report, Fórum donorov, December 2009. Electronic report available at: http://www.cpf.sk/files/files/Sprava%20o%20stave%20slovenskych%20nadacii%202008.pdf
 Giving derived from income from endowments only
Strecanský, B. & Dešcíková, R. (2017) Research on Giving in Slovakia. In: Hoolwerf, L.K. & Schuyt, Th.N.M. (eds) (2017) Giving in Europe. The state of research on giving in 20 European countries. Amsterdam: Lenthe Publishers.
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