Praxis Center for Policy Studies introduced today the analysis of the practices and trends of charitable giving. The purpose of the analysis was to describe experiences and patterns of charitable giving in Estonia and abroad, draw conclusions and present recommendations and suggestions for the advancement and promotion of philanthropy in Estonia.

With the analysis, we are targeting the main challenges – how to secure strategic, regular and transparent giving for the support to the development of civil society and quality of life. We have described the factors affecting the environment of charitable giving: positive image and recognition of charitable giving,  smart and considerate donors, ethical and effective organisations, favourable tax environment, prevention of fraud and misuse of giving, ethics of philanthropy, and statistics and research of charitable giving.

To learn from abroad, we studied the practices of giving in Canada, New Zealand and Great Britain and examined the trends around the world. Finally, we studied the taxation and legal environment affecting charitable giving around the world and the good practices and ethical methods related to charitable giving that are used on addition to legal requirements.

In order to understand the situation in Estonia, we collected statistics of charitable giving between 2005 -2009, highlighted the trends, examined the work of 5 Estonian organisations in collecting donations and analysed Estonian legal environment affecting charitable giving. Based on what we learned and what we were told, we prepared recommendations and suggestions for the advancement of charitable giving.

Official statistics tell us that charitable giving in Estonia is progressing. It seems that the economic depression has had no serious effect on individual giving, but it has influenced negatively corporate giving. Estonian legal system is not restrictive but some improvements were suggested.

The most significant challenge lies in the improvement of statistics. However, according to the World Giving Index 2010, Estonia is in the 121st place with only 12% of people saying they had given money in the month preceding the study.