Number of Russian SONGOs rose by 25% in 2013-15
In the run-up to the II Regional Social Innovation Forum to be held in June, members of the Russian Federation Council have been discussing data compiled by Rosstat on the development of the NGO sector.
According to Izvestia, the number of SONGOs increased by 23.6% during 2013-2015. The Council’s senators believe that Rosstat’s data will be invaluable in enabling them to make an informed assessment of the role of SONGOs in advance of the Forum, as well as providing the basis for preparing new measures to involve SONGOs in the provision of social services, according to Galina Karelova, the Council’s Vice-Secretary.
By the end of 2015, more than 140,000 NGOs were operating in Russia (the researchers haven’t published figures for 2016). The number of people working for these organisations totalled 990,000. The study also revealed that the number of volunteers helping SONGOs has risen from 1,300,000 to 2,400,000.
Donations from the public and individual organisations are SONGOs’ main source of income. The ratio of State participation in SONGO financing was 14.2% for the period under review. According to Karelova, more than 33% of SONGOs were engaged in social services during 2015.
“The level of SONGO participation in social service provision is by no means insignificant, with around 38,000,000 people having received help in one form or another from these organisations – this is 10,000,000 more than in 2013. These figures show that the third sector despite its difficulties is gaining some momentum”, the senator told Izvestia.
Earlier, Olga Golodets, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, called for increased NGO competitiveness in the social services market. In her view, creating preferences for business while at the same time not providing any help to NGOs is wrong. Golodets has asked the Ministry of Economic Development to come up with a scheme of benefits and preferences that can increase third sector competitiveness and help bring about a growth in the NGO share of the social services market.