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October 21, 2021



Czech NGO sector creates 0.7 % of GDP - 128 000 nonprofits strong

1.12.2016 14:33
The Civil Society Development Foundation (Nadace rozvoje občanské společnosti - NROS) is one of the oldest foundations in the Czech Republic dedicated to the promotion of the non-profit sector and the development of civil society.
The Civil Society Development Foundation (Nadace rozvoje občanské společnosti - NROS) is one of the oldest foundations in the Czech Republic dedicated to the promotion of the non-profit sector and the development of civil society.

There are 128 000 nonprofit organizations in the Czech Republic. They don't just run hobby circles and recreational activities, but they also provide services to those in need. Last year such organizations received subsidies from municipalities, regional authorities and the state of about CZK 16.5 billion [EUR 6.1 million].

Roughly 0.7 % of the Czech economy and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is comprised of the nonprofit sector, which last year generated the equivalent of more than CZK 31 billion [EUR 1.15 billion] of activity. Of that, the labor of volunteers is worth approximately CZK 6 billion [EUR 222 million].

The number of compensated jobs in nonprofits is also increasing. Those are the findings of a Czech Government document on state policy vis-a-vis nonprofit, non-state organizations and statistical data.

The Czech Republic's very best nonprofit organizations, the ones that function professionally and transparently, were given awards on 29 November by the Civil Society Development Foundation (NROS). The foundation gives the award to draw attention to the beneficial activity of such nonprofit groups and the quality of their work.

Nonprofit organizations are not established by the state. If such groups engage in profit-making activity, they do not distribute the dividends among management and members like for-profit businesses do.

Volunteers are also involved in NGO activity. According to the Czech Government document about state policy vis-a-vis non-state organizations, nonprofits are gradually professionalizing.

"The professionalization has primarily been forced by the terms of public financing provided through the state administration. To an increasing degree that also applies to support from EU funds," the Government said in its summary of policy on nonprofit, non-state organizations.

According to the material, nonprofits have become transparent companies providing "high-quality services that are in demand free of charge or for exponentially lower prices than those charged by commercial entities, and frequently even at lower prices than the fees levied for services by state institutions." Nonprofit organizations provide their services directly to individuals, focusing on care for people living with disabilities and senior citizens, charity and education.

Most of these organizations have professionalized. Advocacy organizations defend the rights of the disadvantaged and play a significant role in advocating for equality and nondiscrimination.

Humanitarian and philanthropic organizations aid the victims of natural disasters and support beneficial activities. The biggest group of nonprofits in the Czech Republic is that of hobby organizations.

At the end of September 2016, according to the Czech news server about nonprofits,, data from the Czech Statistical Bureau shows there are 128 002 associations, endowment funds, foundations, nonprofit institutions, public benefit companies and religious organizations registered in the Czech Republic. At the end of last year there were 3 000 fewer such registered groups.

Since 2014 the legislation on nonprofits has changed and many groups that were previously "associations" have been able to transform into "societies" (spolky). In 1990 there were roughly 3 900 nonprofit organizations in the Czech Republic, while 20 years later there were 78 075.

Last year municipalities, regional authorities, state-administered funds and the state itself provided subsidies of CZK 16.5 billion [EUR 6.1 million] to nonprofit organizations. Roughly 30 % of that amount was used to fund nonprofits involved in physical education, 29 % to fund social services and support for employment, and 11 % for education.

In 2009 the subsidies were the equivalent of CZK 10.2 billion [EUR 377 million] and have risen annually ever since. The nonprofit sector also raises money from private donations, from its own commercial activity, and from membership contributions.

According to the Government document, the nonprofit sector's share of GDP has been slowly increasing as well. In recent years the sector has been roughly the equivalent of 0.7 % of GDP.

Volunteers are performing work corresponding to 0.15 % of GDP. Thanks to volunteer labor, the cost of the services provided by organizations is significantly reduced, the Government document states.

According to the Statistical Yearbook, the number of compensated jobs in the nonprofit sector is increasing. While in 2010 the sector had 46 300 employees, in 2012 there were 49 800 and in 2014 there were 53 100.

However, these are not just staffers at nonprofit organizations, but also at educational institutions, political parties, professional groups and unions. The average salary in the nonprofit sector is lower than the statewide average wage by rougly one-fifth.

While in 2014 the average salary was CZK 25 753 [EUR 950] in the Czech Republic, it was only CZK 20 376 [EUR 750] in the nonprofit area. The following table shows the number of nonprofit organizations in the Czech Republic as of 31 December for the following years:

Source:, data from Czech Statistical Bureau

Year Number of nonprofit organizations
1990    3 879
1993  24 462   
2005  61 719
2010  78 075
2014 122 086
2015 125 028
2016* 128 002

* data as of 30 September 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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