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  Issue 68

   

Concepts

 
Responsibility for social issues

 

In the issue 64 the Civic World started presenting parts of the publication “Trust, responsibility for social issues and charity in Macedonia”, published by the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation. The publication is, in fact, a report made on the basis of two questionnaires and the results of four focus-groups. The questionnaires and focus-groups have been carried out by the Institute for Sociological and Political-Legal Researches. The publication in PDF format is available on www.mcms.org.mk.
 

Introduction

An indicator of how new the subject of charity is in Macedonia is the lack of generally accepted terminology (in the USA two terms are used: philanthropy and charity givings).

The accepted meaning of philanthropy is a voluntary act of donating money or goods or providing any support on charity cause, usually for a longer period of time. Or, philanthropy is a tool of the private sector for influence on social changes. With the conventional definition of philanthropy, donations are for a narrow defined cause and they are to contribute to a recognizable change in social conditions. Big donations are usually necessary for that and financial support in a longer period of time. The need for bigger financial dedication makes a difference between “philanthropy” and “charity givings”. Therefore, the conventional use of “philanthropy” is applied for rich individuals and sometimes for a foundation (or a trust) founded by rich individuals.

In Macedonia such distinguishing of the two terms is not clear. In this report “charity givings” are in focus, but the attitudes towards philanthropy and altruism are also surveyed. A further problem is the use of charity, benefaction and benevolence.

 

Responsibility for social issues

The attitude of allocation of responsibility for solving social needs between the state, the business and the civic sector has been surveyed.

The highest expectations are towards the state (54.8%) and the local self-government (19.8%) and lower towards the citizens themselves and the civil society organizations (civic sector) or companies (business sector).

The profile of supporters of responsibility of different actors is relatively homogenous and it does not show any relevant deviations in any characteristics, except bigger expectations of the state in the south-west (70.3%) and the Pelagonija region (63.6%).

Such attitudes are in correlation with the low trust in other’s altruism.

In people’s attitudes on altruism there is also high homogeneity with very small differences. Ethnic Albanians (38%) and the citizens of the north-eastern (46.30%) and the Polog region (38.70%) trust in it more, and the citizens with incomplete primary education (15.8%), from the south-eastern (13.9%) and the eastern region (9.6%) trust in it less.

In terms of responsibilities of the business sector, the accent is on the relation towards employees and the state, and then towards the community and the environment.

These attitudes are shared between different groups. However, higher expectancies for regular salaries have those with incomplete primary education (63.2%). The regional differences are interesting, too – with high expectancies for regular salaries in the south-eastern (62.5%) and eastern region (73.7%), opposed to the south-western (39.9%) and the Pelagonija region (40.9%), the latter having high expectancies for community support (22.2%).
 

Conclusions

The state is most responsible in solving social needs

Majority of citizens (54.8%) think that the state is the most responsible for solving social needs and that they would be best satisfied by increasing the responsibility of the state and the business sector (36.3%).

High expectations of the state, with lower expectations of the citizens themselves and almost a lack of expectancies of the business sector, is in favor of etatist culture, as a remainder of the state socialism, that is small public support for structuring Macedonia as a liberal-democratic constitutional system.

High perception of “selfishness” at others

Only 26.4% believe in citizens’ solidarity. Least trust have those with incomplete primary education (15.8%), most probably as self-perceived victims of carelessness for others.

Low expectations for companies’ social responsibility

The expectancies towards business sector are low or almost none. Only 1.4% of the citizens think that the business sector is most responsible for solving social needs. The only perceived responsibilities of the companies are regular salaries and a tax (only 27.8%). The environment is the last priority with 4.2%, even less than those who think the business sector has no responsibility (4.9%). Such low expectations are in favor to a lack of the concept of companies’ social responsibility.

In the Civil Society’s Index (MCIC, 2006), seeking responsibility from the business sector was an area with no activities and influence on civil society organizations.
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