ISC Supports the First Annual Corporate Philanthropy Excellence Awards in Serbia
On November 20th, the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund awarded the first annual VIRTUS award for excellence in corporate philanthropy. The event was supported by the Institute for Sustainable Communities through the Civil Society Advocacy Initiative funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The award is one of a number of initiatives that ISC has supported in order to help Serbian civil society advocate for the issues that matter to ordinary citizens, while encouraging the private sector and state institutions to take an active role in this process.
ISC is pleased to note that in spite of being a novel initiative in Serbia, the recognition of companies which supported not-for-profit activities received significant attention from the corporate sector and representatives from the Serbian Government alike. While presenting the main VIRTUS award for social contribution on the national level to radio-television B92, the Deputy Prime Minister Boidar Đelić noted that "the 64 companies nominated for the award prove that social responsibility exists in Serbia."
ISC will continue to promote corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibly as a main pillar of our support to Serbian civil society organizations. Next year, ISC expects to see the establishment of a Business Leader's Forum, which will pave the way for the private sector to establish uniform standards and conduct for responsible business practices in Serbia.
As remarked by H.E. The Ambassador of the United States in Serbia Mr. Cameron Munter, "A strong and healthy civil society in Serbia that contributes to the democratic dialogue is in everyone's interest. It is the key to democratic participation; it is what the people of Serbia expect. The American people stand ready to provide practical and effective technical assistance to achieve this."
ISC congratulates radio-television B92, the remaining awardees, and nominees and applauds their excellent work and invaluable contribution, while hoping that the VIRTUS award will become a traditional event which will recognize the joint work of the private and civil sectors on improving the lives of Serbian citizens.