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August 13, 2022



Czech Republic pays billions of crowns to nonprofits - who gets most of it?

23.3.2017 15:58
Miroslav Pelta, chair of the Football Association of the Czech Republic (PHOTO:  David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)
Miroslav Pelta, chair of the Football Association of the Czech Republic (PHOTO: David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)

According to Czech President Miloš Zeman, nonprofit organizations are "leeches on the state budget", and other Czech politicians are now deciding to ride his wave of criticism of the nonprofit sector or of "political nonprofits". Investigative news server Hlídací has published a new overview of where the public financing for the nonprofit sector in the Czech Republic actually goes.

During 2015, the year for which the most recent comprehensive data are available, nonprofit organizations received CZK 16 480 000 000 [EUR 610 million] in public money. "Of that, CZK 9.77 billion was disbursed from the national budget, CZK 2.3 billion from the budgets of the Regional Authorities and the capital City of Prague, CZK 3.7 billion from municipal budgets, and CZK 737 million from the Czech Republic's state-administered foundations," reads an analysis of the financing of non-governmental, non-profit organizations approved by the Government annually.

Year-on-year, the 2015 expenditure saw a growth of more than a billion crowns."Significant growth happened in the areas of education and school services, research and development, health care, hobbies and recreation," the Government analysis points out.

Football is still the leader

The vast majority of this financing goes into the area of social affairs for employment policty, and then to sports, education, research and development. This can be seen in the fact that the biggest provider of subsidies is the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (CZK 4.7 billion), followed by the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry (CZK 3.5 billion).

The vast majority of financing, unlike the notions usually presented on social networking sites, is not acquired by "political nonprofits" or organizations aiding refugees. From the table below (the data is in thousands of crowns) it can be seen that, for example, the entire field of sports was given more than CZK 2.5 billion from the national budget alone for 2015.

For comparison's sake, subsidies of CZK 332.6 million were invested into the area of "care for aid to children, families, and other population groups", while the state supported nonprofit "civil preparedness for crisis situations, security and public order" with a sum of less than CZK 43 million. Czech football is unequivocally the biggest recipient of state subsidies for nonprofits.

Source: Database of the state budget

From the national budget alone, the Football Association spent a total of CZK 314 million during 2015, while the Prague Football Union got CZK 50 million in regional subsidies. "Football is a phenomenon in terms of the numbers of people dedicated to it from childhood. Every village here has a football club," representatives of the Football Union argued to Hlídací last year when asked why the state is most generous to footballers.

Nonprofit organizations and subsidies over CZK 50 million during 2015

Sports unions overall belong among the biggest recipients of public subsidies, and in the table above there are 15 of them. For example, the Czech Education Ministry provided the Slovácko Football Club, owned by entrepreneur Zdeněk Zemek, with CZK 70 million to repair their stadium.

Second place among the biggest recipients, with a contribution of more than CZK 300 million, is the CESNET association. "CESNET is an association of universities of the Czech Republic and the Czech Academy of Sciences. It operates and develops the national e-infrastructure for science, research and education which encompasses a computer networkcomputational gridsdata storage and collaborative environment. It offers a rich set of services to connected organisations," that association's website reads.

Of the "classic" nonprofits, the People in Need (Člověk v tísni) organization comes in fifth place. During 2015, that organization also got most of its subsidies from the national administration, CZK 147.5 million for 68 projects.

It is also interesting to note that for the subsidies from the regions and the City of Prague, footballers have been pushed to second place by Caritas of the Diocese of Brno. That charity received the most money in regional subsidies (CZK 62 million) and also the highest number of individual subsidies (121).

Recipients of regional (and Prague) subsidies over CZK 10 million

SOURCE: Database for the budget of the regions and the City of Prague

Breakdown of regional support to nonprofits (sports - 30.9 %)...

... and a breakdown of municipal support (sports - 44.4 %).

The Government reviewed this analysis at the beginning of January, and the next report on the financing of non-governmental, non-profit organizations with public money for 2016 will not be available until the end of this year. According to the Czech Statistical Office, as of 1 January 2015 the following kinds of nonprofits were registered in the Czech Republic:

  • 82 597 associations and 24 739 branches of associations;
  • 2 710 public benefit corporations;
  • 142 institutes;
  • 490 foundations;
  • 1 331 endowment funds,
  • 232 school entities established by non-governmental, non-profit organizations (NNO)
  • 1 000 hobby association entities
  • 4 158 church entities

From the state budget, subsidies were provided to 32 foundations, 2 256 associations, 246 branches of associations, 659 public benefit corporations, 122 institutes, 180 purpose-built facilties of churches, 26 hobby association entities and 132 school entities. Almost 16 % of the subsidies from the state budget during 2016 went to just 10 NGOs, and subsidies above CZK 50 billion from the state budget during 2015 were given to just 29 NGOs.

This article was written for the Institute for Independent Journalism, an independent, nonprofit organization and registered institute involved in publishing information, journalism and news reporting. Its analyses, articles and data outputs are offered to all equally for use under predetermined conditions.

Robert Břešťan,, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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