At a conference organized by the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation together with the Foundation Gift to the Angel, the cooperation of business and charitable organizations was discussed.
Charity: bigger and better
Recent research shows that there are more and more citizens in Russia who donate to charity, and more companies that sponsor charitable projects, says Elena Topoleva, the director of the Social Information Agency, the member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation (PCRF). And this applies not only to big business: "Medium and small businesses are actively involved in charity. In general, society becomes more active and responsible." Recent studies of the Higher School of Economics have shown a significant increase in the involvement of citizens: the number of people participating in the activities of non-profit organizations and civil initiatives increased from 16 to 28%.
Commercial companies are trying not only to be engaged in charity, but to do it systematically, to evaluate effectiveness, to participate in contests, ratings and to compare themselves with their colleagues, Topoleva says. "Non-profit organizations also do not stand still, develop their communications with corporations in the field of charity, they become more skilful in this. They turn from simple suppliants into serious and substantial partners and assistants to companies in the implementation of charity projects," she believes.
According to Elena Topoleva, today the issue of creating a new state concept for the development of charity is being widely discussed in Russia. There is also a separate concept for the development of volunteerism.
Three trends emerged in the charitable sphere, says Irina Menshenina, executive director of the Russian Foundationraisers Association. The first one is that more and more citizens are becoming philanthropists. "They donate little amounts, often donate regularly, and this gives hope that we are moving away from a very strong dependence on business or on state. We do not particularly want to leave it, but sometimes we have to," she says.
The second trend: business has become more fastidious to charitable projects, to which it allocates money.
The third one is that information technology is coming to charity. Today, the winner is the one who masters these technologies, emphasizes Menshenina. From her point of view, business can become a kind of "conductor of ideas", as many employees and clients of companies entrust their choice of the charitable partner to the commercial structure.
Business partnership and NPOs
Charitable sector in Russia has made a big step forward, says Anastasia Prikazchikova, the founder of the children charity Foundation"Gift to an Angel. This, in particular, is due to the fact that charitable Foundations create programs that are interesting to business. "We have several programs for business. When we come to our potential partners, we never ask for money. We begin the conversation with the fact that we need either the clients of the company or its employees, " said Prikazchikova. If the business produces something, then within the framework of the joint program with the Foundation, goods can be sold, part of the proceeds from the sale of which will go to charity.
"We give money for charity, if we see who specifically it will be spent for, but not abstractly to the Foundation, " added restaurant chain manager Andrey Gryaznov. - When we transferred 50% of the proceeds from our desserts for rehabilitation of children, both we and our customers knew how many children would be rehabilitated and in what way."
More than 60% of people are ready to pay extra 20% for products that have a social or environmental "burden", said Ekaterina Matantseva, directoe general and founder of the Kirov company "MiKO". She noted that the sale of such products can also result in significant benefits to the business as well: "The crisis unites people. We see that there is stagnation, but paradoxically sales of environmental and social goods often increase, because people begin to feel the need for security, for help, for uniting."