Methodology | Giving Balkans


We can measure philanthropy in society through public polls, expert survey research, and relying on registered data. However, surveys only offer insight into opinions about philanthropy, not actual behavior of citizens and legal entities. And national tax authorities in Western Balkan countries do not register donation data.

Therefore, we opted for alternative data collection methods: media clipping and direct data sources.

We collect the data through media monitoring at the local, regional, and national levels, including printed, electronic (radio and TV), and online media throughout the year.

We also get the data directly from the most prominent donors and fundraisers. For some countries in 2022, we collected the data from direct sources for more than 70 percent of instances, through verification processes, without media coverage.

Then we clean and revise data, depending on the transparency of the direct sources and in the media.

We finally serve that data to you in three different ways through the Giving Kosovo website.
You can read our annual reports on the state of philanthropy
You can explore our interactive data viz platform with the live data
You can read stories and blogs on philanthropy and fundraising
Apart from the total recorded sums on an annual level, which we have tracked so far from the set of all collected data, the monitoring of trends in philanthropy from year to year had its basis in media-covered data. However, the above reasons led us to start using the same extended data set from all sources to present the complete picture of philanthropy from 2021 in Kosovo.
This methodology shows several limitations that we need to emphasize.
There is an undeniable gap between the actual situation and the registered data. It is certain that the registered values underestimate the actual scope and intensity of philanthropic activities.
Apart from the fact that the media does not report on philanthropy comprehensively, the method of media clipping itself cannot be comprehensive, so the assessment of the state of philanthropy is limited by incomplete data.
It is also certain that media reports overestimate the presence of large donors compared to smaller ones and the share of money in the structure of all donations (including goods and services).
Moreover, even if the media reports were comprehensive, there is no methodologically perfect way to control data reliability. However, we partially achieve that control through cross-referencing and verification processes in direct communication with donors and fundraisers.
Nonetheless, we can safely argue that the registered values, although not comprehensive, provide reliable estimates of the minimum level of giving in Kosovo. For example, if we discuss the number of donation instances, we can state with certainty that the number we show is the minimum number of instances that have occurred. The same applies to other indicators, such as the donated amount, structure of donors, recipients, beneficiaries, and more.

Thus, we use this data to indicate the minimum level of giving for the social good and monitor giving trends.
Giving for the social good without receiving compensation, i.e., the voluntary giving of money, goods, time, or services to help someone or improve society.
The subject of donation, i.e., money, goods, time, and/or services provided voluntarily to those in need, without compensation.
Donation instance
A unique event (i.e., a case of collecting donations). It can consist of single or multiple donations (e.g., a campaign in which citizens collect mass donations for someone's medical treatment). Although shown in aggregate, donation instances are not the same size, so they are difficult to compare.
A private or legal entity that donates money, time, services, and/or goods. To make it easier to follow trends, donors are divided into types.
Mass individual
A type of donor: a large number of citizens who therefore cannot be identified by name.
Corporate sector
A type of donor: companies (more than 50 employees), corporate foundations and small and medium enterprises (fewer than 50 employees).
Known individuals
A type of donor: identifiable citizens.
Mixed donors
A type of donor: cases in which one donation instance includes several types of donors.
Private and/or legal entities that receive donations directly from donors. The types of recipients are non-profit organizations, individuals and families, public institutions, and local and national authorities. As recipients, individuals and families are mostly beneficiaries of donations, while other types of recipients are often a channel for providing assistance to final beneficiaries.
Final beneficiaries
Target groups for whose benefit the donations are intended. For example, if a particular school is the recipient of a donation, the end-users are pupils of that school.
Local communities
Target groups that benefit from the use of services for which the local community has received a donation.
Intended effects
The type of effect that the donation intends to achieve. Short-term donations include consumables, materials, and supplies, while long-term donations include capital investments, equipment, and scholarships.
Nonprofit organizations
A nonprofit organization (NPO) is a legal entity or an informal group organized and operated for a public or social benefit. A nonprofit is subject to the non-distribution constraint: any revenues that exceed expenses must be committed to the organization’s mission, not taken by private parties. There are different types of nonprofit organizations in Western Balkans, including associations (nongovernmental or civil society organizations that can be domestic, diaspora, or branch offices of foreign associations), foundations (private and corporate), and informal groups.