WHILE the nature of charitable and philanthropic efforts has changed since the fall of communism in 1989, activities in this area still adhere to rules set by the communist regime. These outdated rules have prompted the Interior Ministry to join with non-profit and non-governmental organisations to prepare a new law to reflect current societal conditions and engender more trust among the general public in such efforts. Parliament passed the brand new bill on May 27, which will come into effect on July 1.

Under the new rules it will be possible to organise a fund-raising collection only for welfare purposes. Moreover, only legally registered non-profit entities will be allowed to do so. Every legal entity and every collection will have to be registered with the register of collections which will be administered by the Interior Ministry and which will be public, the Sme daily wrote. Additionally, the legal entities will have to have their own website on which they will publish their registration number, and will have to establish the special account on which they will complete all transactions.

One collection will last no more than one year, while those street collections with money boxes will be able to last two weeks at most. The organisers will be able to use no more than 25 percent of the gross yield from the collection on expenses. Under the previous legislation, it was 50 percent. If they violate the law, the organisers can be fined up to €1,000.

A group of non-profit and non-governmental organisations initiated the change themselves, and participated in the preparation of the new legislation.

Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák believes that thanks to the new rules the money from collections should not end up in the wrong hands.

“I am convinced that the money people will give to charity and humanitarian purposes will end up with those who need it the most, and that various organisations will not abuse the good-heartedness of Slovaks to use the money for wrong purposes,” Kaliňák said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.