The normative grants which non-governmental organisations may apply for in relation to donations they collect will increase from five per cent at present to ten per cent. Applications may be submitted from Monday.

Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Deputy State Secretary for Civil Society and Social Relations said this year the allocation which non-governmental organisations may apply for in relation to the donations they have collected will amount to HUF 200 million. Applications may be submitted from 10.00 a.m. on Monday until midnight 28 August. The purpose of the raising of normative grants is to boost the self-sustaining capability of non-governmental organisations so that they go to the corporate and for-profit sector more frequently and collect donations from them.

The Deputy State Secretary also highlighted that this year they will distribute six billion forints from the National Cooperation Fund, while next year this sum will increase to HUF 7.2 billion. These amounts are comprised of the one per cent donations in relation to which taxpayers did not provide specific instructions upon the submission of their tax returns.

He pointed out that in 2017 civil-society organisations had received HUF 284 billion from other funds supervised by municipalities, the government or the European Union. “In contrast to all other rumours,” this proves that in Hungary the non-governmental sector “is alive and well,” also at present there are some 61,000 non-governmental organisations, most of which are engaged in useful and important work, building communities and creating values, he highlighted.

He added that, at the same time, there are “fake” organisations which, with activities disguised as non-governmental, seek to achieve political goals. However, the government and the laws set clear limits for their activities. It is another matter that these “fake civil-society organisations” do not observe those limits.

Kinga Szőnyi, President of the Hungarian Women’s Association described the increased grants as a milestone in the lives of civil-society organisations. She highlighted that the association does not spend any of the donations it collects on operations, and uses the entire sum for the set goals. For instance, last year, they collected more than six million forints for the organisation of local holidays for Syrian Christian children. This year, they are collecting donations for the victims of the storms and floods that occurred at the end of June until the end of September, she added.

Kinga Szőnyi encouraged civil-society organisations to make every effort to collect donations and to use the money they collect for charitable purposes. She also drew attention to the fact that even if a person is not a member of a non-governmental organisation, they can still be active supporters of one good cause or another by giving donations.

According to the distributed press document, the normative grants that non-governmental organisations can apply for is minimum HUF 10,000 and maximum HUF 500,000, and organisations may use the awarded sums for covering their operating expenditures. These grants are given as non-repayable grants, without any own resource requirement, and applications are assessed in the order they are received. Applications can be submitted via the Electronic Applications Management and Cooperation System.

(Prime Minister's Office/MTI)