SLOVAKIA marked the Day of Philanthropy, November 27, by granting top philanthropic awards. The Slovak Donors Forum organises the Top Corporate Philanthropist ranking annually, which is the only ranking in Slovakia that assesses corporate donors based on the volume of funds they allocate to public and philanthropic endeavours. This year the Hospodárske Noviny daily and the Ecopress publishing company became partners of the forum.

The gas utility SPP was this biggest corporate philanthropist for the eighth year. In 2012 it donated €1,933, 200 million from its own budget to public and philanthropic activities, excluding the corporate tax assignation scheme.

“SPP is the biggest energy supplier operating in each corner of Slovakia,” said Marián Valko, a member of the SPP’s board of directors, as cited in the company’s press release. “Simultaneously, our company realises how important a responsible approach to the environment, in which it does business, is.”

SPP believes that it won the prize especially thanks to its environmentally-focused EkoFond and the Let’s Renovate our Home donor programme, which works to help preserve cultural heritage in Slovakia.
GlaxoSmithKline Slovakia won the category of middle and small-sized companies, having donated almost €367,000 in 2012. In Slovakia the company supports the development of health care, education and socially disadvantaged people. AXA Services won in the category of profit to donation ratio.

A total of 11 companies entered the Top Corporate Philanthropist 2013 ranking, which donated a total of almost €4.3 million for public and philanthropic activities. Of these, financial donations made up 87.5 percent, non-financial donations accounted for 5 percent and employees volunteering their free time came to 7.5 percent.

The Slovak Donors Forum also announced personal philanthropist categories: Employer of the Year and the Philanthropist of the Year, for people who contributed significantly to the development of philanthropy within their companies and motivated their colleagues. Zuzana Vojteková from Slovak Telekom became the Employer of the Year, and Miro Bílik, the founder of the civic association Deťom pre život (To Children for Life), won the Philanthropist of the Year. His determination to battle his son’s cancer led him to pursue projects that help people to fight against the malicious disease, the SITA newswire reported.

“In each of us there is a natural inclination to help,” said Anton Srholec, a Catholic priest and the first winner of the Philanthropist of the Year title, as cited by SITA. For some this instinct is more developed, and for others less, but everybody has it,” he said, adding, “We are part of society and the time period, which literally requires … that people help each other. This should not always be [in the form of] material goods; sometimes the willingness, desire and motivation towards [doing] a good thing is enough.”