Analysis of growth of non-profit sector in Russia’s regions

Analysis by the Russian Federation’s Public Chamber of the growth of the non-profit sector in the regions


The Public Chamber and the RAEX-Analytics Agency have produced regional ratings for the third sector as part of “Region CSO 2021”. Results from the exercise were presented during the year’s final session of the Public Chamber’s Community Forum held on 2 November in Moscow.

The main questions addressed by the ratings were “How far developed is the non-profit sector in the regions; How great is its potential and how effectively is it being utilised?”

All 85 Russian regions took part in the ratings exercise. Leading the way, as in 2020, was Moscow, with the Republic of Tatarstan having moved from second to third place. Three newcomers broke into the top ten: Vologda oblast (second place), Chelyabinsk (fifth) and Krasnoyarsk district (tenth). It is clear that the non-profit sector is developing in a balanced way that is consistent with the economic, demographic and geographical potential of the regions.

Dmitry Grishankov, CEO of RAEX Analytics, highlighted support received from local government as one of the main factors in the development of the third sector at regional level. And it’s not so much the “amount of money” but more about paying attention to the sector, the introduction of new regulations and smart distribution of funds.

Top 20 regional ratings for the third sector – REGION-CSO 2021

No.      Region                                                                                        2020 rating             +/-

 1         Moscow                                                                                              1                          0

 2         Vologda oblast                                                                                  14                          12

 3         Republic of Tatarstan                                                                          2                         -1

 4         Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District                                             4                          0

 5         Chelyabinsk oblast                                                                             11                         6

 6         Tyumen oblast                                                                                     3                        -3

 7         Tula oblast                                                                                          9                          2

 8         St Petersburg                                                                                       5                        -3

 9         Samar oblast                                                                                       10                         1

10        Krasnoyarsk district                                                                            33                      23

11        Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District                                                29                      18

12        Kostroma oblast                                                                                  25                      13

13        Ulyanov oblast                                                                                    12                       -1

14        Nizhny Novgorod oblast                                                                     58                      44

15        Novgorod oblast                                                                                 63                      48

16        Omsk oblast                                                                                        15                       -1

17        Novosibirsk oblast                                                                              13                       -4

18        Republic of Bashkortostan                                                                 21                        3

19        Udmurt Republic                                                                                55                      36

20        Volgograd oblast                                                                                 32                      12                                                                                                                 

Novgorod oblast (from 63rd to 15th place), Nizhny Novgorod (from 58th to 14th place) and Krasnodar oblast made the most spectacular progress according to the ratings.

The shift is due both to changes in the methodology, which now better reflects the true position of the regions, and real success in almost all the criteria measured in the ratings.

“A trial rating was discussed on a Community Forum platform last year”, said Elena Topoleva, Chair of the Public Chamber’s Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support for SONGOs.

“It is clear that the ratings have not only become a tool for analysing the current state of play but also as a real incentive for change. In the light of discussions at the forum, many regions developed roadmaps to improve conditions for the third sector and a number of specific measures were taken. As a result, many regions have improved their position”, said Topoleva.

However, Topoleva emphasised that there was still a large gap in the development of the third sector across different regions. In some cases, the sector is supported by local authorities, businesses and the media, while in others there is almost complete indifference among the public.

In the process of assigning the ratings, a considerable amount of information was gathered from ministries, agencies and public sources such as the Justice Ministry, Ministry of Economic Development, Rosstat, the Agency of Social Information and SPARK-Interfax.

Results were used from an expert survey conducted by the Public Chamber among members of its regional constituencies and specialists in the field. The regions were assessed according to ten criteria:

  • Economic importance of the non-profit sector for the region;
  • Sustainability of the third sector in the region;
  • SONGO activity in the region;
  • Media activity undertaken by regional SONGOs;
  • Level of SONGO support from regional authorities;
  • Availability of information on SONGO support in the region;
  • Social significance of the non-profit sector in the region;
  • Development of regional resource centres;
  • Importance of Regional Public Chambers as institutional fora for the development of the third sector;
  • Results from the expert survey characterising the development of the sector, and the quality of its interaction with government, business and the media.

These ten criteria had 60 indicators, which were measured by more than 150 metrics (initial parameters).


Translated by Neil Hailey

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