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Sector bodies and more than 70 charitable organisations in Poland have come together to launch a new appeal with the goal of creating a culture of philanthropy and regular giving.
Against the backdrop of the Ukraine invasion and with 2 million people having already crossed the border to seek refuge in Poland, visibility has surged of NGOs and their role in providing critical aid and infrastructure. Aware of this unique opportunity to capture public interest as charitable needs continue to rise, the Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation (FAOO), the Polish Donors Forum and the National Federation of Polish NGOs have united with nonprofits across Poland to educate the public about the long-term benefits of regular giving and appeal for support.
Andrzej Pietrucha, fundraising & marketing consultant the Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation, says:
“Poles have shown their philanthropic spirit in recent weeks, rushing to help in every way possible and often taking guests into their own homes. But the scale of the crisis in Ukraine and the number of refugees coming into the country means that the need for charitable services is greater than ever.
“We’re all too aware that people can’t continue to help like this indefinitely – we need to be able to deliver a more coordinated approach over the long-term, and that means building regular income from private donors.”
He explains that a humanitarian crisis of this scale has not been seen in Poland since the fall of communism in 1989, saying that: “a new approach to philanthropy is necessary.”
“Currently in Poland, regular giving is rare. But this is crucial if we think about long-term support and planning. Moreover, we can assume that commitment and interest in the crisis will decrease slightly over time, so we need to act now to build on the public’s desire to help.
“If we succeed in building regular donations, NGOs will be able to plan ahead, and to to react faster and better to those in need, now and in the future.”
The appeal highlights the key challenges faced by NGOs, with guidelines on where to find information about organisations in their area and how best to support them. It also emphasises the significance of professionally prepared staff.
To date, the campaign has reached more than 2 million people across the country, achieving widespread media coverage and with the hashtag #JakPomocPomagajacym (how to help the helpers) shared widely on social media channels.
The campaign founders believe that by capitalising on the current interest in helping others they will be able to educate the public about the role of charitable organisations in Poland and the value of long-term, intentional philanthropy.
Pietrucha adds: “I believe that what is happening in our country is a decisive moment not only for Polish humanitarian organizations, but for the entire charity sector engaged in supporting the largest wave of refugees in Europe since WWII. It is necessary to call for sustainable funding of NGOs and recall the role of independent organisations as a part of the aid system. A new approach to philanthropy should be the shared responsibility of individual and institutional donors, including companies, governments and private grant makers.”
Main photo by Anna Liminowicz