Prague, Nov 28 (CTK) – There are 128,000 non-profit groups in the Czech Republic, which offer leisure time activities and also various types of services, generating about 0.7 percent of GDP, which was 31 billion crowns in 2015, according to statistics and a government document on non-profit organisations.

The NGOs received about 16.5 billion crowns in subsidies from the state, regions and municipalities last year, the document says.

Of the 31 billion crowns these organisations generated, six billion came from voluntary labour.

The number of jobs these organisations offer has been rising, the document says.

The Civil Society Development Foundation will award the best non-profit organisations for their transparent, professional and beneficial work tonight.

Non-profit organisations are not state-controlled. If they make profit, the sum is not divided among the management and members.

The government document says non-profit organisations have been gradually turning professional.

“Their professionalisation has become necessary mainly because they receive public money from the state administration. This also applies to the EU subsidies,” the document says.

It says the NGOs have turned into transparent firms that provide high-level and widely needed services for free or for prices that are much lower than those set by business entities and often also state institutions.

The service organisations provide services directly to people, focus on charity and education and they care for old people and the disabled.

Defence lawyers’ offices defend the rights of the disadvantaged, playing a significant role in the promotion of equality and non-discrimination. Philanthropist and humanitarian entities support beneficial activities and help the victims of catastrophes.

The largest group of non-profit organisations are various hobby groups, the document says.

According to the server www.neziskovky.cz, a total of 128,002 associations, public benefit groups, foundations, endowments, institutes and church organisations operated in the Czech Republic as of September 30, 2016, which was 3,000 more than at the end of 2015.

Of the 16.5 billion crowns the state, regions and municipalities provided for NGOs last year, 30 percent went to sports and physical training, 29 percent to employment promotion and social services, and 11 percent to education.

The subsidies have been annually increasing since 2009, when they reached 10.2 billion crowns.

The non-profit sector also gains money through gifts, membership fees and its own activities.

According to the government document, the share of these organisations’ production in GDP has been rising. In recent years it has oscillated around 0.7 percent. The work of volunteers constitutes 0.15 percent of GDP.

In 2010, the number of jobs in the non-profit sector was 46,000. It rose to 49,800 in 2012 and 53,100 in 2014. However, the figures include employees of educational institutions, trade unions, political parties and professional chambers.

The average pay in the non-profit sector is about 20 percent lower than the country’s average pay. In 2014, the average gross monthly pay was 25,753 crowns, compared to the non-profit sector’s average of 20,376 crowns, the document says.