Number of volunteers in Russia has doubled in last 7 years
The Ministry of Economic Development has published a report showing an increase in voluntary work in the Russian Federation. In 2017-2018 the Ministry took steps to raise the professional standards of voluntary work in Russia for the first time.
Rosstat (the Russian Statistics Service) has reported a marked increase in the number of people and organisations becoming involved in voluntary work in recent years. Currently in Russia there are on average 2,377,000 people involved in NGOs working in the care sector, in 2011 the number was only just over 1.1 million. According to statistics produced by the Rospatriotcentre, in 2017 there were around 5.3 million volunteers working in different kinds of charities across Russian society.
Despite some variance in numbers, there is a consensus among sociologists that voluntary work in Russia is definitely on the increase. The most popular areas of voluntary work involve supporting sick children and adults, orphaned children, people and families in crisis, the elderly, pensioners and organisations offering activities for children. The voluntary work that seemed to attract the least interest involved assisting native communities and security and law enforcement organisations.
The report states that a willingness among the public to contribute to their society is an important factor in the development and expansion of NGO services. The report provides details of the information and financial assistance available to them as well as details about the infrastructure being developed to support them on a federal and regional level.
Federal Law No 15-F3 in Russia incorporates a formal definition of the term voluntary work or volunteering, which has brought clarity by resolving some of the contradictions that had existed in earlier legislation.
While developing certain models of voluntary work for independent NGOs, in 2017 the Agency of Strategic Initiatives for the Promotion of New Projects (ASI for short) set up a working party to implement its strategic target known as Developing Voluntary Work in the Regions. It involved contributions from over 200 experts from across the country and drew on examples of best practice, found in Russia and overseas, in using government support to provide voluntary services. The group then devised a standard for supporting voluntary work and produced recommendations for its implementation.
A full version of the report has been posted on the Ministry of Economic Development site. It includes information from the Ministry of Education and Science, Rosstat, the Ministry for the Young, the Presidential Grants Foundation, the Agency of Strategic Initiatives for the Promotion of New Projects, the Centre for Research of Civil Society and the Higher School of Economics.