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SIGNS of Solidarity and Solutions is a regional two-day event organized by SIGN  as a closing ceremony of three-year long project funded by the European Commission, Balkan Trust for Democracy, Balkan Civil Society Development Network and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

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Informal group Ženski solidarni front formed spontaneously when a group of motivated women felt the need and obligation to respond to the effects of the pandemic their local community in Vranje suffered. They gathered around the idea to organize a grand charity ball and bazaar in order to raise money for children whose parents had died of COVID-19.

The initiative gathered a number of successful women from Vranje and was supported by the Center for Media Transparency and Social Responsibility (CMTDO). As a result, in just two weeks and with the support of the community, by 20 August, a total of RSD 600,000 was raised  (5.000 EUR)  and 26 direct donations were provided to help the children who had lost one or both parents since the beginning of the pandemic.

In addition to this large initiative in August, the charitable women of Vranje helped their community throughout the pandemic year of 2020 by raising around RSD 3 million (25.500 EUR) for the support to the healthcare system, with the assistance of good and responsible fellow citizens.

Milica Anđelković Jovanović, who wanted to help the children of Vranje and activate her community, made only one Facebook status and launched a chain of support engaging hundreds of women who wanted to contribute to the humanitarian initiative. Today, this informal group has more than 700 members, including several men who have joined recently, since the fact that membership was exclusive to women was criticized by men in the beginning, as Milica points out.

In the interview, Milica talks about the power of community in the circumstances which caught us all completely unprepared. She told us about their motives to get together and help children and families, about obstacles they had to face, and about how one Charity Ball in August 2021 united the citizens of Vranje in common cause.

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As part of The state and future of philanthropy business meeting conducted by the Mozaik Foundation with partner organizations and with the support of USAID, on November 3 at the Hills Hotel in Sarajevo, at the event organized to improve the legal framework for philanthropy, we presented the results of our annual research on the state of philanthropy by providing key insight of the "Giving Bosnia and Herzegovina 2020" report.

According to our estimates, philanthropic donations in Bosnia and Herzegovina increased significantly in 2020 regarding donated amounts. The estimated value of donations is € 38.5 million, almost three times more than the previous year. Even when all donations aimed at the pandemic are excluded, the amount donated exceeds the amount of all donations from 2019. This increased average per capita donations from € 3.7 in 2019 to € 11.7 in 2020.

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The global pandemic has created a new reality and numerous challenges for all segments of society. In such circumstances, the key question is how to inspire companies and citizens to strategically contribute to the common good. The answer lies in new types of cooperation and communication channels, use of new technologies, improvement of the environment for giving in Serbia, digitalization of philanthropy through the prism of new opportunities for initiating and implementing philanthropic initiatives, as pointed out at the National Conference on Philanthropy: New Reality - New Opportunity, organized by the Trag Foundation, with the support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), within Framework for Giving project.

At tomorrow's closing of the National Conference on Philanthropy, on November 5, the director of the Catalyst Balkans Foundation, Nathan Koeshall, will also speak in his closing remarks. The broadcast can be followed live via this link, and simultaneous translation of the program into English, as well as translation into sign language, are provided throughout the event,

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Founded in 1996, Kosovo Women’s Network was originally an informal network of women's groups and organizations from different regions of Kosovo. Since its inception, KWN has developed into a network advocating for Kosovo women, locally, regionally, and internationally. Representing the interests of its 168 members, including women's organizations of all ethnic groups from across Kosovo, KWN is a leader among civil society organizations in Kosovo and the region.

In an interview with Etleva Malushaj, Coordinator of the Kosovo Women's Network project "Strengthening women's participation in politics" supported by the EU, we discussed her personal motivation to join the nonprofit sector, what are their current activities and she also explained why it is important for their network to strengthen the feminist movement in Kosovo.

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Catalyst Balkans is a regional nonprofit that provides data, research, tech, and advice for other nonprofits and companies to do more good in their communities.

With our research on philanthropy in Serbia and throughout the Western Balkans, donors, recipients, beneficiaries, decision-makers, and citizens are able to improve their understanding of the status of and trends in philanthropic giving in their countries. Information on giving increases knowledge on who is giving, for which purposes, to whom and for whom.  It also serves as a support to evidence-based advocacy for a better legal and fiscal framework. Catalyst’s philanthropy research is the most comprehensive source of information on giving in Western Balkans and is used by global, regional, and national actors and networks that report on philanthropic giving.

With our tools – Giving Balkans philanthropy insights app, CiviCatalyst community relationship management platform, Donacije.rs crowdfunding platform, and Neprofitne.rs, a nonprofit transparency platform – we help nonprofits and CSR departments make better decisions and have a greater social impact in their communities.

Now we are looking for an Accounting and Compliance Coordinator with both the skills and passion to join our team.

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Knowing well the challenges that women face within their community, NPO Gruaja Hyjnore (Divine Women) set out to educate women about their rights, empowering them economically by helping them gain their own sources of income.

Besides this, the mission of Divine Woman is to support and empower young people and advance the position of women in Kosovo society by raising awareness of their rights, gender equality, improving education and organizing social activities.

In an interview with Qëndresa Hajdari, project manager of this nonprofit organization, we discovered the most significant challenges they face, how they contribute to the development of philanthropy in Kosovo, and which activities they are the most focused on at the moment.  Qëndresa also provided us with an example of their fundraising activities, that reflects their creative ways of activating their community.

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