The work performed by non-governmental organisations, which reinforces and assists communities, provides an overall authentic picture of the state of mind of Hungarian society, and about its good intentions and willingness to act.

“Accordingly, it is important to repeat that there are some 60,000 non-governmental organisations operating in Hungary. More than a third of these organisations are involved in leisure activities, culture, sports, healthcare, education, providing social assistance and developing towns and cities”, the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Deputy State Secretary for Churches, Minorities and Social Affairs Attila Fülöp said in Szolnok at the 7th Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County NGO Conference.

“True non-governmental organisations are about performing a duty to society”, and accordingly we must also publicise the huge work and effort that you too are performing, Mr. Fülöp said. Referring to 19th century Hungarian statesman István Széchényi, the Deputy State Secretary said that together with the “greatest Hungarian”, we too profess that “actions come first, words come second”, but we must recognise that if we do not showcase the work performed by non-governmental volunteers then it will be presented by those who always cite non-governmental organisations, but are in fact lobbyists. They are the ones who are responsible for the fact that a few loud lobby organisations in the news are leading to an image of non-governmental organisations being troublemakers and militants. It is important that we provide an authentic and attractive image of the huge efforts that tens of thousands of volunteers do in their spare time in the interests of others. Every volunteer should speak about the fact that “it is good to do good” and it is a joy to help others. This is how we can encourage as many people as possible to perform voluntary work for various associations and foundations.

Refereeing to the role of the state, Mr. Fülöp stressed that while non-governmental organisations received 144 billion forints in state funding in 2010 when the current administration took office, this figure increased to 202 billion by 2014, and the area’s total revenues during this period increased from 432 billion forints to 577 billion, while in 2016 total donations exceeded 8 billion forints. In addition to financial assistance, the Government has also simplified regulations on non-governmental organisations and created a network of Civil Information Centres where associations and foundations can receive help with tenders and organising, as well as legal assistance.

The Deputy State Secretary drew special attention to the fact that taxpayers should remember to act to donate one percent of their income tax to Churches or non-governmental organisations.

(Ministry of Human Capacities)