The Global Philanthropy Environment Index “Central Europe” region includes Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
The assessment period was most affected by the global pandemic, which also affected the region. The impact of the pandemic and the anti-pandemic measures affected philanthropic organizations’ operations both negatively in terms of the deterioration of the economic environment and loss of financial resources, and positively. The organizations that responded to socio-economic problems more quickly and effectively than individual national governments carried the potential for a more positive public image.
Regional averages have limited predictive power. It is evident that in terms of the region as a whole, there have been no significant changes, but on the other hand, there are positive or negative changes in individual factors in some countries. Similarly, it appears that the economic environment as a newly observed factor can have a major influence in a specific territory, as is evident in the case of Ukraine. It is also evident that even an initially rational and well-thought-out system can be substantially eroded and distorted by piecemeal non-systemic regulations, as we see in the case of Hungary.
However, philanthropic organizations in all the countries studied have demonstrated their viability, flexibility, strength of values and ability to address societal problems of a crisis nature. They are most hampered by the absence of a partnership approach on the part of government and political representation, underdeveloped schemes for their funding, and still relatively low awareness and recognition by the general public.