Results of survey of charitable giving in Russia

Compassion and spontaneity – 33m Russians gave to charity last year

Moscow, 27.10.2014

More than 40% of the population (33 million Russian citizens) made donations to NGOs over the past year, while only 20% of the population do not participate in any way in charitable activity, according to new research data published by CAF Russia. In their presentation CAF gave the results of surveys conducted jointly with the company Synovate Comcon among the urban adult population of 15 cities, excluding the far East of Russia, a total of more than 500 thousand people.

The report sets out the charitable habits of Russians – frequency and size of donations, method used to donate, sources of information and preferred spheres to donate to, as well as barriers and drivers of private charitable giving. It also shows the same indicators for the UK, and makes recommendations for the further development of charitable giving.

The results of the survey show that Russians are now giving more to charity than was thought. 41% of the population have given to charity in the past year. However their giving is not a regular event: 28% give once a quarter; 13% — monthly; 5% several times a month. But most give twice a year or less. (In countries with a developed culture of charitable giving, such as the UK, 57% give to charity and in the USA – 66%.) The average sum donated annually is nearly 5,000 roubles. It appears that the urban population of Russia alone donates 160bn roubles annually. The most active age group is those from 35-44 years. Women are more active donors than men; almost half of people with higher education donate to charities, and just 31% of those with only secondary education. The main means of donating are by text message and into collecting buckets/boxes in public places. People usually donate from 100-150 roubles at a time. People most like donating for children, people experiencing the effects of disasters, and adults in difficulties.

People experience many doubts about donating to charity; in particular, they wonder about the sincerity of the NGO and the value of its work. Many try to donate directly so as to be sure that the money will be used appropriately. This lack of confidence is not due to lack of information; there is a lot of information available about NGOs, from various sources, and the sources most trusted are television, friends, and workplaces.

The survey shows that the general public are well informed about NGOs: 94% of Russians obtained information about an NGO in the past year. The next step is to try to persuade Russians to develop loyalty to specific NGOs and to deepen their understanding of the value of the work done by them. Potential donors to charity want informative and practical advertisements about the nature of an NGO’s work, such as how to help them, and how to do this easily. They want to know about the actual results of the NGO’s work, affecting real people. A network of “ambassadors” for charitable organisations is needed – people who are willing not only to donate to charities, and support them with volunteering, but who will tell their friends, relatives and work colleagues about them. This is far more valuable than information via the internet. Employers can also help, by providing information about NGOs and arranging direct donations from salaries.

The full text of the report is here.

By Yulia Vyatkina

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