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What is preventing the development of giving in Ukraine and what can we do about it

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What’s deterring the development of giving in Ukraine? Whose fault is it? Well, there are a few factors, which deter giving in Ukraine, namely, indifference, lack of funds, public distrust in charitable organisations, lack of opportunity to track the results of someone’s help. Eugenia Mazurenko, CEO of Zagoriy Foundation, talks about the development of giving in Ukraine. The latest reseach by the Zagoriy Foundation ‘What Encourages Ukrainians to Join Charitable Practices’ looks at theses factors and how we can shift public opinion toward charitable giving.

Not just money

The low income of the population and permanent crisis (the ongoing war in the east of Ukraine and economic consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) are objective factors, which deter charitable giving in Ukraine. The lower people’s income is, the less resources they can donate to charity.

Th recent study ‘What Encourages Ukrainians to Join Charitable Practices?‘ reveals: the higher respondent’s income is, the more frequently he or she joins charitable practices in all possible ways. About 60 per cent of respondents with high income provide assistance in the form of monetary donation. At the same time only 25 per cent of respondents with average and low income donate money. Generally 51 per cent of respondents point out the lack of funds as a main factor which deters their participation in charitable giving.

On the other hand, financial help is the most popular form of giving in Ukraine. 88 per cent respondents have experience of providing assistance in the form of monetary donations.

Ukrainians do not consider providing services for free or volunteering time as a form of giving. That is why a major factor of giving culture is the setting of a new communication trend. The massage is clear: giving is not just about money. We can help others in different ways: free services and volunteer work, free transfer of food, medicines, clothes, etc.

The lack of trust

According to the study, 41 per cent of respondents consider the lack of trust as a major factor. Not only does charity fraud decrease the trust to charitable organisations. Sometimes, respectable charities lose public trust and create a bad image for the whole third sector because of poor transparency.

Detailed public reports and regular communication via media could build trust between charities and society. More than quarter of respondents (28 per cent) notice that they get demotivated by inability to track the results of their help. According to the studies, positive emotions encourage people to participate in charitable practices. When people cannot see their real input, they do not get positive feedback. Talking about emotions, we should also mention a rational motivation. People often join charitable giving, thinking that it would help them to get charitable assistance in the future (in case they would need it). There is an interesting fact: seven per cent of Ukrainians are driven by patriotism in their charitable practices. By joining the charity, they contribute to the whole society.

Good deeds as an integral part of the culture

Despite the fast growth of the third sector in Ukraine, there is a lack of specialists, who can work on the development of giving culture and create a public habit of helping others.

Therefore, there are three major factors, which affect the culture of giving:

  • Individual consciousness. First of all, it is about bringing relevant education for young people. We should teach generosity and encourage giving since childhood, therefore establish educational programmes, work with schools and create a habit of giving and motivate kids for charitable activities.
  • Information support for the third sector. Many people want to join charitable practices, but do not know how. Cooperation between charities and media could change this situation and raise public awareness.
  • Transparency. Public reports, presentations of results and achievements of charitable organisations, success stories and direct contacts between donor and beneficiary — all these factors could improve the third sector and build a strong trust to the charities.