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Fundraising Verband Austria has welcomed a new CEO, at the same time as a new law significantly increases the number of nonprofits in the country eligible for tax deductions on donations.
Ruth Williams is the new head of FVA, taking over from Günther Lutschinger who had led the organisation since 2007. Lutschinger also spent six years on the board of EFA, including as president from 2013 to 2016.
On 1 January, new laws came into force in Austria which, as previously reported by Fundraising Europe, make it possible to get tax relief on donations to a wider range of organisations and simplify the process for smaller clubs to apply for tax deductible status, among other measures. This will allow more than 2m Austrians to claim deductions on their donations for the first time, FVA says.
“From the reduction of bureaucracy to procedural simplifications, especially for small associations, to the comprehensive tax deductibility of donations, 2024 will bring completely new framework conditions for domestic nonprofits.”
She adds that the FVA, which has 350 member organisations, will focus on providing resources to support the sector in meeting the opportunities this provides.
Williams also says that there is great potential to grow philanthropy in the country. Figures released at the end of last year by FVA shows that a total of €1.1bn was given to good causes in Austria in 2022, significantly outperforming the organisation’s expectation for the year
Andrea Johanides, president of the FVA, says of Williams’ appointment:
“With her immense wealth of experience in the broad field of fundraising and philanthropy, she is the ideal successor to Günther Lutschinger and will undoubtedly further develop the association to include new features, so that Austria’s nonprofits can do even more for our society, and grow a culture of giving.”