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Civil Society & Philanthropy

What are the linkages between social trust and civic engagement?

That is the key question guiding this research. Specifically, we investigate the relationships between trust and non-profits in the transition context with case study evidence from Bulgaria. The two focus areas are:

• philanthropy and determinants of giving
• green NGOs and environmentalism


The project aims to identify what factors promote and hinder philanthropy and charitable giving, exploring individual level and societal factors. The research has both a comparative and domestic focus. On the one hand, the project seeks to situate Bulgarian philanthropy in the larger European context, in terms of size of the non-profit sector, fundraising mechanisms, composition of donors, and the determinants for charitable giving. At the national level, the relationship between trust and philanthropy is explored. In particular, we investigate the implications of low generalized social trust on giving in the country.

Related Papers:

• “Giving in Bulgaria: a non-profit sector in transition” (with Neven Valev), in Palgrave Research Companion to Global Philanthropy, edited by Pamala Wiepking and Femida Handy, Palgrave MacMillen: New York. (2015)

• "In Charities We Trust: The Effects of Institutional and Organizational Trust on Philanthropic Giving” (with Neven Valev). Working Paper. (2013).


Here we investigate the opportunities and challenges for green NGOs in Bulgaria, study the extent of public trust toward environmental groups, and seek to explain the determinants of environmentalism in the country.

Related Papers and Presentations:

• “Environmental Concern in Bulgaria: The Role of Social Trust” (with Rumiana Stoilova) in Sustainability Potential of the European Semi-periphery: Exploring the relationships between environment, society and economy, edited by Dinka Marinović Jerolimov and Mladen Domazet, Institute for Social Research Zagreb and Heinrich Böll Stiftung Hrvatska. (2014)

• "Trust, Concern and Support for Environmental Initiatives in Bulgaria" (with Rumiana Stoilova). Civil Society, Politics, Solidarity. (organized by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation). Sofia, Bulgaria. October 28-29, 2013.

• “Environmentalism in Bulgaria” (with Rumiana Stoilova) 1st Annual Conference of the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. Regensburg, Germany. June 27-29, 2013.

• “Nature Protection and Sustainable Development in Bulgaria: The Stratified Public View” (with Rumiana Stoilova), Sociological Problems Vol. 3 (In Bulgarian). (2011)

• “Globalization and Sustainable Tourism in Bulgaria: Local Implementation of Global Standards” in International Geography and Regional Development Conference Proceedings, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. (2010)