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The State of Nonprofit Work in Ukraine

El Estado del Trabajo sin Fines de Lucro en Ucrania

L’état du Secteur Associatif en Ukraine

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Lessons from Reformers

This case study was originally posted in the OGP Global Report.

Obtaining official not-for-profit status for an organization in Ukraine has long been considered a difficult process. Unnecessary red tape encouraged bribery to expedite the approval process. First, an organization was required to legally register with the Ministry of Justice. Then, a separate application to be a not-for-profit had to be submitted to the Fiscal Service, Ukraine’s tax authorities. These requests were often rejected because of missing documentation that had to be requested and provided by the Ministry of Justice.

One step forward

The 20142016 action plan committed to streamline the process in a “one-stop-shop.” Under a new law, the Ministry of Justice would be the single point of contact, receiving a CSO’s incorporation application and shepherding it to the tax authorities. 

The necessary legal changes largely took place in 2015, according to the IRM. Recent assessments of setting up a CSO in Ukraine also show this shift. In 2016, new rules required CSOs to register to be in compliance with the new law. Still in 2017, reports showed that the streamlined process had not been fully implemented.1 

One step back

Despite this progress, Ukraine continues to see restrictions on CSO activities. There are reports of attempts to intimidate anti-corruption activists and organizations, including an onerous, disproportionate use of asset disclosure regulations. Funding continues to be a challenge as well, with a few organizations receiving the bulk of resources, particularly from international donors.


1USAID, FHI 360 and ICNL, The 2017 Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index, 220.


Photo Credit: Pyvovarpavlo, Adobe Stock

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