State Support and Financing

Examples of Good Practices

  • Law of July 2nd, 1997 on Non-profit Organizations Providing Generally Meneficial Services [Slovakia]


    Section 29 

    (1) The non-profit organization provides for its activity and manages its property; it may make use of the property of state or of the regional self-government according to special regulations. (...)

    (3) Subsidies from the state budget, budget of the state fund or the community budget may also be provided to the non-profit organization.
    A non-profit organization may receive state budget or state fund subsidies for the same services from only one source, usually from that source, which has some relation to the predominant activity of the non-profit organization. The subsidy from the state budget, state fund budget or community budget may not be used to cover the expenditure (costs) of the administration of the non-profit organization.


  • The Law on Non-governmental Organizations (Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, no. 27 of July 29, 1999)


    Article 26 - The Government’s Support

    The Government of Montenegro shall provide financial aid to not-governmental organizations.
    The criteria and the procedure for obtaining the government’s aid shall be prescribed by special regulations. 

    Article 27 - Tax and Other Exemptions and Privileges

    The Government shall provide tax and other exemptions and privileges for non-governmental organizations.


  • Law On Public Organisations and Associations Thereof (15 December 1992, as amended) [Latvia]


    Section 20. Financial Resources

    (...) Local governments and the State or local government undertakings are prohibited from financing the political activities of any public organisations. Local governments and the State or local government undertakings may finance only the implementation of the target programmes of public organisations or associations thereof (except political target programmes). Such financial resources may not be utilised for the hiring of employees of public organisations or associations thereof.

    Public organisations and associations thereof are prohibited from taking levies, as well as other payments, which are mandatory for legal or natural persons, except membership fees and admission fees. If the performance of State functions has been delegated to public organisations and associations thereof by regulatory enactments adopted by the Cabinet, the Cabinet or – under the authorisation thereof – the relevant ministry shall determine the charges for the performance of such functions. 


  • Law on the National Civil Fund 2003 [Hungary]

    This law establishes a highly detailed procedure whereby civic sector support funds are raised and distributed and their use monitored.  The monitoring body represents both the State and the non-governmental organisation sector at national and regional levels. It also provides for a set of transparency requirements concerning the internal workings of the body administering the Fund. 

  • Human Rights Defenders in the OSCE Region Challenges and Good Practices April 2007-April 2008


    Granting direct government assistance to human rights defenders 

    (...) A variety of organizations [in Portugal] can be granted the status of social partners and thus receive state support, tax exemptions, and other benefits. This recognition implies a second registration with concerned public departments (which often automatically gives the association the status of “public utility legal person”), although registration is never a pre-requisite for operation of non-governmental groups. 

    Migrant associations are entitled to state support pursuant to co-operation protocols established with the Office of the High Commissioner for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue. These protocols are concluded upon request and involve the funding of activities developed by the requesting association (up to 70 per cent of the total amount). Support is also granted through activities aimed at improving the skills of members of such associations, including decision-makers, workers, and volunteers (namely training courses and follow-up to project implementation). Furthermore, associations can be given technical support, namely legal or other advice and the provision of documentation and other materials. 

    Similar support is given to women’s associations (by the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality), youth associations (by the Portuguese Youth Institute), and associations of disabled people (by the National Institute for Rehabilitation). (...)

    A civil-society endowment was created [in Estonia] in January 2008 that will be funded from the state budget on an annual basis. The endowment will focus on:
     - funding the operational costs of non-governmental organizations that have a public benefit;
     - supporting projects that create a more favourable environment for non-governmental organizations; and supporting local projects that promote civic participation and co-operation between non-governmental organizations. 

    Assisting human rights defenders in obtaining funding 

    (...) A team assembled by the deputy prime minister and tasked with the implementation of Serbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, in co-operation with the Finance Ministry and partners at home and abroad, has published several editions of a guide for potential domestic and foreign sources of funding NGO projects, including from local government and medium-sized and small-scale enterprises in Serbia. This guide provides useful information about the funds of domestic and foreign donors and government institutions that are earmarked for different activities, including funds available to NGOs. (...)
    As part of its efforts to raise awareness about the importance of the work of human rights defenders and the role they play in society, the Polish government grants tax exemptions to certain organizations and allows individual citizens to donate 1 per cent of their income tax to NGOs of their choice. (...)
    Although NGOs cannot seek profit, it is clear that they are free to receive funding and other resources, including from abroad, in order to be able to carry out their activities. This is one of the basic requirements of Art. 46 (2) of the Portuguese Constitution, which states that: “Associations may pursue their objectives freely and without interference from any public authority, and they may not be dissolved by the State, nor their activities suspended, unless by judicial decision in the circumstances prescribed by law.” Clearly, restrictions on funding would represent interference in an NGO’s activity. (...)
    Switzerland provides financial support to local NGOs operating in foreign countries and international NGOs working in particular in the following capacities: alerting the international community to cases of repression where human rights defenders are among the victims; facilitating access to protection mechanisms for defenders at the global and regional levels; strengthening defenders’ capacities and building up networks; and providing international visibility to defenders under threat in their own countries. 

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