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Youth involvement in the decision-making process in charitable organizations in Bulgaria through social media

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Youth involvement in the decision-making process in charitable organizations in Bulgaria through social media

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Bulgaria has been trying to catch up with fellow Western European countries since its admission in the EU. However, issues from the transition crisis since 1989 persist to the present day. The country has suffered in many forms from the rapid change from a communist regime to a democratic sovereign state. One of these post-communist side effects was the rapid emergence of businesses, trade and services which were not allowed during the regime. This overload naturally cause more harm than good- the business was controlled by the ‘new rich’ (former communist party members who were granted unassured credit loans by the prime minister at the time). This was also when the first non-government organizations emerged, which were not used for nonprofit purposes but instead used for covering illicit activities and avoid taxes. These schemes were uncovered years later in 2011 and caused a big impact on the public’s trust in nonprofit organizations. Other NGO issues also emerged around the democratic transitions caused by think tanks that exist to facilitate the transition and create good relations with the western countries. However, many speculations were raised regarding their true intentions of their work. Young adults have not been mature in the time of the democratic transition and are distanced from issues in that period. However, they witness it themselves today. It is uncertain when this problem has ended because those organizations have not gone out of business- some operate under different names, other have been replaced by new establishments, whichever the case is, the same figureheads persist. NGOs are not used purposefully and the entire category has a negative reputation amongst Bulgarians and the Western World (which are familiar with the case). A clash emerges between the post-communist businessmen and the young adults who want to nonprofit organizations to work purposefully. However, disingenuous organizations were not the only kind of nonprofits after the communist regime. There have been a number of honest NGOs which were not involved in any illicit or political activities. Those organizations suffered from the reputation of the dishonest ones as it was difficult for the public to distinguish the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ ones. Those organizations are seeking for a solution, a way to attract youth with good hearts who want to be involved in benevolent activities. Volunteering is a popular form of social contribution in the Western World, whereas in Bulgaria volunteerism is not endorsed by the government, although it is possible but without a legal recognition. Young Bulgarian adults who are well aware of the issue don’t want to volunteer for such dishonest organizations and since they have become very untrusting they don’t want to participate in the open and honest NGOs either. My first reaction to this issue was “Transparency is the solution”. This is undoubtedly true and completely obligatory for NGOs to publish their annual reports on the website of the Ministry of Law and Justice. This is not the case for all nonprofits- some organizations are missing reports since 2009 and others have registered as private benefit foundations instead of public to avoid such formalities. Transparency needs to be experienced in a different form. This is how I came up with the idea to involve youth in the decision making process where young adults can be members of the managerial board and learn to know how an NGO functions. As a student and a young adult I recognize many benefits in this form of volunteerism. This form of an internship allows students to gather experience and practical skills while contributing to the welfare of the society. The organization on the other hand will not just assure its reputation but will have access to young ideas which will make communication to the young target audience easier and use a contemporary tone of voice. Social media is a rapidly developing communication tool which older and more traditional organizations have difficulties in implementation. New forms of adapting it emerge all the time and global profit and nonprofit companies are finding ways of mastering the new techniques. Domestically it is hard to speak about a social media revolution in social causes but it is not completely absent. However, it doesn’t go far beyond creating Facebook events and inviting people to ‘like’ causes. There are many creative ways to engage a public in benevolent activities through social media such as crowdsourcing and digital storytelling which have proven successful in western countries. Hopefully, this will filter open and honest organizations from the post-communistic disingenuous organizations.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Utrecht
OpleidingInternational Communication and Media
AfdelingCommunicatie
Datum2014-06-10
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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