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In April this year, the sector bodies submitted a report to the Minister of Culture, which warned that civil society could lose SEK 1.1 billion due to the coronavirus’s impact. That report included nine recommendations for measures that would not only help civil society organisations survive the crisis but contribute too to Sweden’s recovery as a whole.
Now, the organisations have submitted a new report to the Minister of Culture Amanda Lind, responsible for civil society issues in the government, Labour Minister Eva Nordmark and Finance Minister Per Bolund with two concrete proposals.
Firstly, they say, civil society organisations could play a role in restarting the labour market by offering places for internships, job training and, with support, employment too. They estimate that the sports movement, the Church of Sweden and other communities together could help approximately 50,000 people.
The second proposal is for the state to stimulate the public’s donations to non-profit causes by matching gifts. Through a matching programme, Giva Sverige, Forum and Famna say, the state would be directly supporting civil society efforts both in and outside Sweden in the wake of the pandemic while at the same time stimulating increased donations from the public.
“Civil society is not the third sector but one of three sectors in society. We need to put forward how we can contribute and be part of a solution when society at large is experiencing a crisis,” says Charlotte Rydh, secretary general of Giva Sverige.
“Our proposal shows two very different ways that civil society organisations can contribute by supporting individuals that are hit by the corona-pandemic and also motivate engagement through giving which will strengthen democracy.”