OSGF Supports Conference on Sustainability Problems of Civil Society Organizations in Eastern Europe

20 Apr, 2010

A one-day event dedicated to the sustainability problems of civil society organizations in Eastern Europe was held on April 19, 2010 at the Courtyard by Marriott Tbilisi hotel.  “Although civil society in Georgia has almost 20 years of experience, it still relies almost completely on funding from international donors and sustainability is one of the major challenges NGOs have to face”-said Keti Khutsishvili, Executive Director of the OSGF in her opening remarks.

 In the beginning of the year, the OSGF launched an initiative focused on future sustainability of Georgian civil society organizations. The first component of the initiative included a study tour to Bratislava and Prague for 15 representatives of Georgian NGOs in January, during which Georgian participants familiarized with the work of NGOs from Czech Republic and Slovakia on the ground, their efforts towards achieving sustainability and established contacts for future cooperation.

As a continuation of this initiative, the event launched in Tbilisi featured Bulgarian Experts Luben Panov, Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law and Ralitsa Popova, Knowledge Association Lovech, who shared their experiences with more than 45 Georgian NGO representatives, offered insight into the issue and guided participants into the discussions of topics in which they were most interested.

 The discussions evolved around the issues of NGO legislation, main sources of NGO income; forms of state support to NGOs; economic activities of NGOs. Particular attention was paid to social enterprise, its operations; social effects and benefits; and review of successful cases of social enterprises both in EU and in Bulgaria.

 Within the framework of the OSGF initiative second conference on topics of volunteerism, income tax allocation and fundraising mechanisms as well as the publication of conference materials are also planned.

 The effort became possible with the support of OSGF and co-funding by the East-east network program.