Synergy to support charity

On 16th June 2010, Ukraine’s 11 largest charitable foundations have joined their efforts to create a powerful lobby for philanthropy promotion in Ukraine. In the «Opera» hotel, they signed Memorandum of Philanthropists of Ukraine to support the laws “On charity activities and charity organizations” and  “On introduction of amendments in some laws of Ukraine (regarding the reduction of tax burden for charity aid recipients)”.

The largest philanthropic organizations of Ukraine signed the Memorandum, including Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine, the International Renaissance Foundation, Alexander Feldman Foundation, Ukraine 3000 Foundation, Open Ukraine Foundation, Olena Franchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation, the Klitschko Foundation, Caritas Ukraine International Foundation, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s “People of the Future” Foundation and other.

This association, as reported by the event organizers, is of strategic importance and influence on improving the scale of good deeds and charity in Ukraine. After all, the situation that exists in Ukraine today inhibits the positive trend of the process.  For example, at the moment it is much more difficult to establish a charitable organization in Ukraine and is more expensive than to create a business company. Registration takes approximately 15 times longer, and cost of services for registration of a national charitable organization is by 2 – 3 times higher than for commercial companies. Also, a disabled person must pay a tax of 15% if he/she receives a gift from a company, like, a wheelchair. And a   talented young man if he/she is given charitable support for participation in the international contest must pay taxes to represent Ukraine in the international community (!)…

Anatoly Zabolotny, Director of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Development of Ukraine”:

– Two years ago, when we entered this process, we set ourselves the task divided into main two subtasks. First task is to make charity professional and as transparent as possible in Ukraine. And, second thing is to make money allocated to charity to reach its destination.

One simple example. Recently, our foundation has paid for the surgery. The operation itself cost UAH 170,000 , and the tax we paid was UAH 30,000. In fact, not too much money. But if we start thinking in other terms, for example, that UAH 30,000 means three hearing aids for the sick children, or treatment and accomodation at a specialized clinic for five children with ICP , or money assistance for drugs for 10 retired people, then we have a very different math. And we look at UAH 30,000 from a different angle.

That’s why our goal is to make philanthropists’ money to work for the people in most effective way.

Ivanna Klimpush, Executive Director of Arseniy Yatsenyuk “Open Ukraine”:

– This is only one small step out of those that philanthropists can do together. We can get together, and, by means of the law promotion directly help to more people, and we’ll have great prospects. We just started this process of restoring confidence for charitable organizations in Ukraine. Because we have a certain skepticism and suspicion to the philanthropic activities, and it is, in a certain way, has grown historically. But through those transparent mechanisms, which are set out by the new law, it will be easier to explain, to both citizens and to the government, how charities can and should be governed.

Lesya Orobets, MP:

– This law must protect both those who need charities, and philanthropists themselves. We have a lot of problems, and the government not always has the means and opportunities to respond to them. But a surprising situation occurs when there are brave people who have the means and opportunities, and what is most important, the energy and love, who are willing to give everything to others, but it turns out that one has to pay tax for this love.

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