Foundations in Croatia

About the foundations

Foundations have a rich history in plural societies, ever since the period of Humanism and the Renaissance, when they began to institutionalize the needs to support philanthropic motives.

The foundation is an institution whose purpose is determined by the trustees. The assets of the foundation remain constant, while the funds for its intended purpose are used from interests and income. The function of the foundation is to encourage the public-benefit and charitable activity (philanthropy).

At the beginning, the foundations focused on specific goals, such as raising funds for the education of the gifted or the help to the poor, but in the end, such help had long-term connotations in the development of society.

In later periods, we can draw parallels between the development of foundations and significant changes in society. Whenever the relations in a society are reformed, a new space for improving “forgotten” areas opens up. This then makes room for actions of individuals and institutions that observe the resulting disadvantages and want to correct them with their philanthropic activities.

Foundations in Croatia have an equally long history as foundations in other European countries, but there were long breaks in the activity, from the end of World War II to reaching independence.

It can be tentatively said that during this period, the country perceived itself as a foundation, thinking it met all the needs of the society.

The introduction of a plural society after gaining independence has led to the reanimation of old foundations with tradition and the establishment of new ones, with the pace that allows various subjects to recognize “uncovered” needs in a new range of social movements.

The foundations in Croatia operate under the Act on Foundations, which was adopted by the Croatian Parliament in 1995. The Act defines a foundation as the property assigned to serve the achievement of a public-benefit or charitable purpose. The charitable purpose means the support for people who need help. The public-benefit purpose means a general advancement of cultural, educational, scientific, spiritual, sports, health, environmental, welfare and any other social activity. Foundations differ with regard to the objectives of their activities and with regard to which group of persons in need they address and assist.

The city of Zagreb has recognized the need to improve the quality of life for its senior citizens. To this purpose, the Zagreb City Assembly founded the Foundation “Zajednički put” (“Mutual Path”).

The Foundation “Zajednički put” was founded in 2005 by a Decision of the Zagreb City Assembly. Legal preconditions for the start of the Foundation were met in April of 2008 based on the Resolution of the Central State Office for Administration.

The Foundation promotes the values of charitable giving, volunteerism and philanthropy with the idea of raising funds and directing them to social services and cultural programs with the main goal of improving the quality of life of Zagreb’s senior citizens, as well as preventing the misuse of their assets and ensuring safe living conditions in the third age. The Foundation serves as an intermediary to donors who want to contribute to a better quality of life of the senior citizens of Zagreb. Donors can be: citizens, business people, non-profit organizations, companies, large corporations and others, and donations may consist of any kind of property, securities, property rights, artwork, etc. People who make a donation can make contributions from their current revenues or leave their assets to the Foundation.

The Foundation “Zajednički put” is funded through

-          funds from the budget of the City of Zagreb;

-          cash donations from individuals and legal persons;

-          charity events, lotteries, manufacture and sale of prints, emblems, badges, etc.;

-          from other sources.

By creating a permanent inventory of assets, the Foundation provides for and organizes non-institutional forms of care for senior citizens, in collaboration with civil society organizations and other partners, and ensures that senior citizens in need have adequate care, through:

-          preventing the misuse of the assets of senior citizens;

-          securing and financing service and social services;

-          various forms of care for senior citizens;

-          health care for senior citizens;

-          cultural and social care for senior citizens;

-          construction of facilities for accommodation and housing of senior citizens.