Contest for “Corporate Philanthropy Leaders” opened

The 2016 ‘Corporate Philanthropy Leaders’ project has begun

Moscow, 16.02.2016

The Donors Forum, the newspaper Vedomosti and PwC have launched the 2016 ‘Corporate Philanthropy Leaders’ project to identify business’ best philanthropic programmes. Experts have outlined their expectations for projects and programmes submitted to the contest and explained how to fill in the survey so data is analysed correctly.

The ‘Corporate Philanthropy Leaders’ project consists of two parts: a survey of corporate philanthropy, the results of which are used to rank companies, and an annual contest for philanthropic programmes. Over the past nine years projects have been supported by various partners: the Ministry of Economic Development, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the International Business Leaders’ Forum (IBLF), the British Council in Russia, the St Petersburg State University Higher School of Management, the Donors Forum, and the independent non-profit organisation BlagoSphera.

The project’s partners for 2016 have outlined their expectations for projects and programmes submitted to the contest.

In the category ‘Best programme or project implemented in partnership with other businesses’, the Donors Forum will examine philanthropic projects initiated by one or more companies and implemented in partnership with other businesses. The category was created in 2015.

“We welcome partnerships involving not only businesses but also NGOs, local communities, and the authorities. One of the programme evaluation criteria is a clear statement of aims and objectives which benefit all partners, the existence of a clear strategy and performance evaluation tools. We hope to see projects with a description of these tools, how roles and responsibilities were allocated, and results. This will also be beneficial for other companies to know”, says Donors Forum Executive Secretary Olga Barnashova.

Executive Secretary of the Donors Forum Olga Barnashova

The Ministry of Economic Development acts as a partner in the category ‘Best programme or project promoting development of the infrastructure of non-profit organisations, philanthropy and volunteering in the region where the company operates’.

The International Business Leaders’ Forum (IBLF) is offering the category ‘Best programme or project contributing to the development of volunteering in Russia’. In 2015 the National Council on Corporate Volunteering was created. According to the head of the IBLF Boris Tkachenko, this in particular affects the number of applications. “Try to make clear in your application what exactly your company does and how it differs from what others are doing. Or conversely, what it does like the others, because that is the prevailing approach”, recommends Tkachenko.

Donors Forum Programme Manager Aleksandra Boldireva and head of the IBLF Boris Tkachenko

The partner in the category ‘Best programme or project reflecting a company’s corporate philanthropy policy and social investment guidelines’ is the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. This category considers charitable programmes and projects linked with the company’s overall strategy, focusing on the quality of the organisation and management of charitable initiatives, and the impact of social investment and charitable programmes. Priority is given to companies exhibiting uniform guidelines and standards for developing and implementing charitable programmes, an indication of their role in the overall work of the company, the presence of developed training tools and the efficiency of implementation.

The British Council supports the category ‘Best programme or project promoting contemporary art and culture’.

“We are interested in projects which are implemented using modern approaches and models of interaction with the audience and partners. We would like to see more examples of projects developed by business from scratch together with partners. Projects with a marketing character are necessary and important, but when we talk about corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, projects should lead to serious changes in the areas where they are implemented and in the companies themselves. It would be interesting to see projects which incorporate inclusiveness, that is, a policy of equal opportunities”, said the Deputy Director and Head of the art department of the British Council in Russia Tatyana Ilina.

Deputy Director and head of the art department of the British Council in Russia Tatyana Ilina

The St Petersburg State University Higher School of Management is a partner in the category ‘Best programme or project promoting the development of education in Russia’. Applications are anticipated from charitable projects supporting primary, secondary, higher and supplementary vocational education. The latter of these should be innovative programmes training qualified staff in priority areas, including modernising the Russian economy and contributing to the development of entrepreneurial activity.

This year, a new category was announced by the independent non-profit organisation BlagoSphera: ‘Programme promoting philanthropy in society’.

“We have offered this category to enable business to tell a wider audience how it promotes the idea of charity, for example, using social advertising, carrying out projects helping people to engage in charitable work, publishing books about charity. We would like to see not isolated events, but long-term initiatives and projects which may have grown from other projects. When evaluating we will look at how to take into account the characteristics of the regions in which the companies work. We hope that the projects implemented will be well covered by the media”, said Natalya Kaminarskaya, Director of BlagoSphera about the new category.

Director of BlagoSphera Natalya Kaminarskaya

The ‘Corporate Philanthropy Leaders’ contest will accept programmes external to the company, not aimed at employees or family members. Programmes should have been implemented during all or part of 2015 (but not less than three months). If programmes are multi-year, their overall duration must be specified and activities carried out in 2015 described.

Applications are being accepted from 16 February to 29 July 2016. The prize giving ceremony for winners will take place in November 2016. The results of the study will be published in Vedomosti. You can read more about the contest on the Donors Forum website.

Two companies have immediately been named 2015 corporate philanthropy leaders: Severstal and Gazprom Neft.

Author: Yulia Vyatkina


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