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Where does association funding come from?


Cooperation between public institutions and associations in the implementation of public policies is most often manifested through various forms of financial and non-financial support provided by public authorities. Those funds are aimed at specific projects or programs of common interest to the overall society. Such cross-sectoral cooperation has great potential for generating positive change and for creating much-needed synergies for sustainable social and economic development as ultimate goals. The extent to which this potential will be realized largely depends on the quality of criteria, standards and procedures for awarding financial and non-financial support, as well as on organizational and human resources within public institutions that are necessary for successful monitoring and evaluation of support models.


New law on associations (in Croatian):


In 2015, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted the Decree on criteria, benchmarks and procedures for financing and contracting around programs and projects of common interest to the societal good implemented by associations (Narodne novine 26/2015, 37/2021).

Associations do not have regular sources of funding. They need to take care of finding the funds for their work on their own, mostly through tenders.

Apart from membership fees, voluntary contributions and gifts, and providing services in the market, associations also frequently receive donations from the state budget, from the budget of the LRU (R) S, and from other public sources.

The Law on Associations stipulates that the state bodies, LRUs and other public institutions finance and contract around the implementation of programs and projects of public interest either through a tender or through a special regulation on financing public needs. This regulation stipulates that public sources may include state budget funds (including earmarked funds from lottery games), budgets of counties, cities and municipalities, financing coming from public funds, public companies, and other public institutions, EU funds and foreign public funds.

Annual Reports on the financing of projects and programs of civil society organizations show how the funding allocated from public sources for projects and programs of associations and other civil society organizations is spent. The reports are extensive and contain detailed analyzes on:

  • which state bodies allocate funds and with which amounts;
  • areas of funding;
  • beneficiaries of funded projects; and
  • territorial distribution of projects.


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