Private philanthropy in Russia’s regions

Moscow, 27.10.2014

The Russian Aid Foundation (Rusfond) has created the first league of private charitable giving in Russia’s regions. The top 5 are Dagestan, Saratov, Bashkortostan, Krasnodar, and Orenburg. Rusfond.Rating is a new project of the Russian Aid Foundation, the aim of which is to ensure that anyone in Russia who wants information about private charitable giving can find out the situation in the regions. Helped by the survey company “Business Analysis” measured the extent of participation in charitable work in 54 regions, by surveying 16,449 people in 597 cities. They asked about donating, volunteering and giving help to strangers.

In all regions, the most popular activity was helping strangers: in the past year 62-85% of people did this, in the largest number of cases, giving money to  people begging in the street, second was giving away clothes and other items (54%), and third was buying food for the needy(19.5%). 46% of respondents had made cash donations, with big variations between regions (30% to 62%), and even greater variations when it came to volunteering (18% to 54%).

The data collected allowed three further league tables to be constructed: absolute figures for donations, figures for donations to charitable organisations alone, and numbers of permanent donors, giving every month at least. The three regions used to topping most tables, Moscow, St Petersburg and Moscow oblast only came top once – when absolute figures are given, rather than pro rata according to the population size. In the latter case, Moscow came 31st, Moscow oblast – 40th, and St Petersburg – 47th. The leaders were Dagestan with 62.3%, Saratov (60.8%), Bashkortostan (59.4%), Krasnodar (58.1%), and Orenburg (57.3%).The absolute leaders – the regions which came into the top ten both for absolute numbers and proportionately to their populations – were Krasnodar, Nizhny Novgorod, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. The research shows that overall, every second Russian citizen took part in some kind of charitable activity.

People surveyed were not always sure which charity they had donated to, 15% could not remember, but up to 7.5% remembered the name of at least one charity they had supported. The names of those NGOs people could recall include Rusfond and Dobro. Out of 9,000 charities registered in Russia, respondents could recall 128. 7% of people asked  just cited “a children’s charity”. Just under 8% of Russians regularly give to charity, ranging between 2 and 13% according to region. The most common motivation cited was to help seriously ill children (60%). The most common method was by text message to a short number.

The survey showed that conscious, regular personal philanthropy is just beginning in Russia.

By Yulia Vyatkina

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