Report on corporate philanthropy
Experts provide a profile of corporate philanthropy and its leaders over recent times
The Donors’ Forum has produced a Report on corporate charity in Russia to address a gap in the availability of systematic information on social investment businesses. The report was based on research comprising data from 59 companies that participated in a ‘Corporate charity leaders’ project from 2011-2014. The report was published with the support of the Siberian Coal and Energy Company in time to coincide with International Corporate Charity Day, which is traditionally celebrated on the third Monday in February.
The Graduate School of Management at the University of St. Petersburg was able to identify trends and assess the current state of growth in corporate charity within Russia. Experts analysed several issues in the report associated with corporate charity work such as strategies, approaches and methods involved in implementing specific programmes and projects, management activities – all of which provided unique profiles of corporate charity leaders during 2011-2014.
Research shows that the vast majority of businesses that responded have formal strategies in place that include ‘social values’ as a forward-thinking approach to corporate charity. Such strategies are reflected in the companies’ internal documents, policies and plans for the development of corporate charity. Budgets are usually prepared based on annual fixed amounts, ranging from 2 million to 2 billion roubles.
Interest in strengthening cooperation with large federal NGOs among businesses is growing, although those companies that responded prefer to promote corporate charity through their own projects and programmes. The main types of activities are support for education, training and social work. In addition, all mining companies (100%!) are involved in the development of local communities, which is largely down to their status as regional concerns. As a rule, companies use various forms of support for social work such as volunteer programmes (over 82%) and private donations (74.6%).
Corporate charity management is undertaken by employees and departments. 98.3% of companies analyse the results of their charity programmes, while 81.4% work to an agreed strategy that is assessed against performance.
Most firms prepare their budgets based on annual fixed amounts which include nearly 50% administrative costs.
The work of the vast majority of businesses is enhanced through a programme of social activities as part of a two-tier corporate charity strategy.
“96.6% of companies have a formal corporate charity strategy in place, which is healthy, and highlights the effort being devoted to creating social values. 88% have focused on this by contributing to the resolution of specific social and/or environmental problems. This is an excellent outcome which demonstrates that, for all the talk of corporate charity, social values are still key in defining effective project goals. 34% of firms highlighted increased business competitiveness as an important part of objective-setting, as well as recognising the growing importance of creating social values”, said Yuri Blagov, Director of the PricewaterhouseCooper Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at St. Petersburg’s University Graduate School of Management.
According to Blagov, the research findings show that corporate charity among leading Russian companies, having withstood testing times, is now an integral part of corporate social work. Company projects reflect the specific nature of socio-economic development within Russia and are fully comparable with examples of best practice by global leaders within this particular field.
Author: Yulia Vyatkina