“Thousands of sports clubs or cultural centers are left out”
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In an open letter, nonprofit organizations call for urgent help from the federal government to deal with the corona crisis. Many clubs ran into financial difficulties. Cross-border assistance is also needed in the EU.
EA broad alliance of non-profit organizations calls on the federal government to provide them with emergency aid to deal with the consequences of the corona pandemic. “Voluntary engagement is systemically important and absolutely needs support to avoid permanent and structural breaks,” says an open letter that WELT AM SONNTAG has in advance.
Not only the economy, but also the more than 600,000 non-profit organizations in Germany should in principle have access to funds from the federal and state protection funds.
The letter, which will be published on Monday, is signed by a number of influential umbrella organizations, including the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen, the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, the Deutsche Spendenrat, the Deutsche Olympische Sportbund or the Deutsche Naturschutzring.
The federal and state governments initially tailored their emergency aid to companies with the intention of making a profit. Some states, such as Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg, also provide access to non-profit social enterprises with business operations. For example, money can arrive at youth hostels or youth training centers.
“Thousands of sports clubs or cultural centers are left out. They also run into financial difficulties due to Covid-19. They also need government support, ”says Marie-Alix Ebner von Eschenbach, member of the executive board of the Federal Association of German Foundations.
In addition, the alliance in its letter calls for cross-border Covid-19 aid to be made possible within Europe. Civil society actors simply had to be able to bring donations, grants and benefits in kind to the regions of the EU affected by the coronavirus and this had to be recognized for tax purposes. At the moment this is difficult because there is no EU-wide register of non-profit organizations and the requirements vary from country to country.
“A global pandemic requires cross-border assistance – this is a requirement of solidarity and cohesion in the EU,” says Erich Steinsdörfer, managing director and chairman of the management of the German Foundation Center in the Stifterverband.
In addition, the federal government should take the corona crisis as an opportunity to support non-profit organizations in digitization. To do this, financial resources would have to be made available as quickly and unbureaucratically as possible, the letter said. After all, civil society life can currently often only be maintained through digital channels.
In the past week, the Federal Ministry of Finance had already ordered some practical facilities for non-profit organizations in Germany. For example, they can offset losses from their business operations and wealth management from their capital until the end of the year without depriving them of their charitable status.
In the UK, the government had pledged £ 750m in aid last week to charities last week. In addition, she had announced that she would also open her aid programs tailored to commercial companies to charities. The Federal Ministry of Finance did not want to comment on corresponding plans in Germany on request. There was nothing to add to the previous decisions, it said.
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