Philanthropy in Georgia

Corporate Social Responsibility, a fashionable issue, is becoming a topic in the South Caucasus as well. CRRC research fellow, Giorgi Meladze, explored Georgian corporations’ generosity in his research undertaken in 2006.

According to official information received from the tax department, 210 companies have officially claimed philanthropic activities in Georgia. The amount spent on charity varied from 50 GEL to 100,000 GEL. Unfortunately of those 210 companies, only 79 companies responded to Meladze’s questionnaire, which probably is somewhat less representative than one would wish.

According to official data, banks and construction and pharmaceutical companies most actively participated in philanthropy, spending around 7,565,994 GEL on charity in 2005-2006. Almost half of this money was spent on monument conservation, cultural and sport activities and health projects. The majority of the surveyed companies do not have a clear strategy and spend money on charity spontaneously. Moreover, the companies do not require financial reporting on their activities. The surveyed organization named ineffective legislation as one of the biggest challenges to philanthropy. This hindered donors from spending more funds on charity. According to the Georgian legislation, only legal persons are eligible for receiving tax subsidies, and government recognizes only money donations as charity.

According to the findings, the most popular directions in philanthropy are:

  • aid to orphanages and shelters for elderly people
  • help to religious intuitions
  • support to sport organizations (NGOs)

Even though companies might finance NGOs working in a similar field, few companies were interested in helping non-governmental organizations despite the fact that some large companies cooperate with them and use their services. [For further information on corporate social responsibility you can visi thet Eurasia Partnership Foundation website.]

We hope the government integrates Meladze’s recommendations into upcoming legislative amendments. For more info, you can directly contact the author of the research through our office.