About Philanthropy

Philanthropy is Charitable Foundation of the Serbian Orthodox Church, performing emergency (humanitarian) and development programmes.

Philanthropy’s work is based on Christian values and adheres to principles and high standards set by the leading international humanitarian and development agencies. Philanthropy’s basic principle is respect of human rights, reflected in providing assistance to all those in need, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or religious affiliation. By its work, Philanthropy tries to actively contribute to the development of international professional standards and examples of good practice.

Establishment and development

Philanthropy has been established in 1991 as the Serbian Orthodox Church response to the growing humanitarian needs, caused by aggravated social and economic situation in the region of South Eastern Europe. Soon upon its foundation, needs of people caused by wars, suffering and atrocities on the territory of former Yugoslavia imposed fast pace of Philanthropy’s programme and financial development. Until the year 2000, Philanthropy primarily provided humanitarian assistance to those in need.

After 2000, Philanthropy started with new phase of its growth, creating development programmes and tight organisational structure. Since then, Philanthropy has been developing and implementing series of development programmes targeting marginalised and vulnerable social groups: children, elderly, people living with HIV/AIDS, terminally ill, persons with disability, etc, providing psycho-social support, educational programmes for unemployed, economic empowerment programmes, agricultural development and local communities’ capacity building programmes.

Mission and vision

Philanthropy responds to the spiritual and existential needs of individuals and communities by endeavoring to alleviate suffering and to extend love, faith and hope to our neighbors.


We see society as a community in which people, lovingly as God, help their neighbours.

Organisational structure

The founder of Philanthropy is the Holy Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Philanthropy is governed by the Board, consisting of five Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Director of Philanthropy manages the work of six eparchial/regional offices, four in the Republic of Serbia, one in Banja Luka (Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and one in Podgorica (Montenegro). Belgrade office is the headquarters and coordinates the work of all offices.

Partnerships and cooperation

Philanthropy is a member of Act Alliance (Action by Churches Together) – www.actalliance.org, global coalition of 146 humanitarian and development agencies active in more than 100 countries. 

Philanthropy is a member of the CaLP (The Cash Learning Partnership) - global partnership for cash transfer programming in humanitarian assistance: http://www.cashlearning.org/membership/who-are-our-members-1.

Philanthropy cooperates and is supported by number of institutions: ministries, province and municipal authorities, health care and social welfare institutions, institutes for protection of children and youth deprived of parental care, and series of civil society organisations.

Philanthropy also closely cooperates with local and international faith-based organisations.

Some of the main international partners are: Caritas Vienna, Caritas Austria, CRS (Catholic Relief Services), Brot für die Welt Germany, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe Germany, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe Austria, Christian Aid,  Finn Church Aid, OrtAid (Finland), Intersos (Italy), IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities), Kerk in Aktie Netherlands, NCA (Norwegian Church Aid), UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), CWS (Church World Service), DRC (Danish Refugee Council), JTI (Japan Tobacco International) Foundation, CEC (Conference of the European Churches), WCC (World Council of Churches), as well as public agencies: BPRM (Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration – US State Department), OFDA (Office Of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance), DFID (Department for International Development), Delegation of EU to the Republic of Serbia, European Commission, etc.

Philanthropy cooperates with several embassies: Royal Norwegian Embassy, US Embassy, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, British Embassy.