NGOs should seek non-official sources of funding

Elena Topoleva: “It is insufficient to support non-profits
with subsidies and grants; other sources of funding ought to be developed”.


A conference has been held in the State Duma on the
activities of socially oriented NGOs. 
In particular, the discussion focused on the development of the
non-profit sector in Novosibirsk Oblast. 
The event took place on 23 October under the direction of Duma deputy
Yaroslav Nilov.  Representatives of the
regional administration spoke about socially oriented NGOs which receive state
subsidies under the programme of support and development of socially oriented
non-commercial organisations in the regions (Ministry of Economic
Development).  More than 4000 NGOs
operate in the region, and, since 2000 the proportion of the workforce employed
in them has increased fivefold. 
Svetlana Shibayeva, a member of the Novosibirsk Olbast legislature,
remarked that the region may be called an example of effective cooperation
between the state and civil society. 
Thus, NGOs are active in the social support and defence of citizens, in
preparing the population to overcome the consequences of sudden poverty, in
protecting environmental and historical heritage, in charity work, in the
provision of legal services, and in other areas.


Shibayeva emphasised
that, in addition to financial support, organisations
are also given property assistance (the provision of premises). 86% of NGOs
receive such help from
municipal budgets.


Elena Topoleva, a
representative of the Public Chamber Commission for social policy, labour relations,
and living standards of citizens, noted that the results of work on support for
NGOs in Novosibirsk Oblast are impressive. 
She also considers that it is insufficient to support NGOs with
subsidies and grants, and that other sources of funding ought to be developed,
so that organisations may be “more stable”. 
Topoleva thinks that it is necessary to standardise social
services.  NGOs themselves are working
in this direction.  For example, the
National Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has outlined more than 100 services in terms of standards.  This work can be utilised by other
organisations.  Topoleva believes that
without this work by organisations, it is difficult to maintain standards and
to assess how far this or that non-profit can lay claim to subsidies.  She also offers a reminder that the bill “On
the bases of social services in the Russian Federation” is at present being
reworked.  It is proposed that
competition should be introduced in this sphere and that the functions of
client and provider of social services should be separated.  A broad public discussion of the bill will
take place soon.  The bill is intended
to come to the Duma for examination before the end of the year.


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