Russia: Ratings and legislative changes affecting CSOs
Ministry of Economic Development: Latest ratings and legislative changes
How the State supports CSOs and what changes in legislation will mean for the not-for-profit sector was explained by the Ministry of Economic Development at a meeting with the Federation’s Public Chamber’s Commission on the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and its regional counterparts.
Ministry of Economic Development ratings: Data for 2022
Tatyana Evlampieva, Head of the Department for the Development of the Social Sphere and Development of CSOs within the Ministry, told those present of the increased number of CSOs that are now receiving State support.
Last year, nearly 10,000 SONGOs were supported under various State programmes to the tune of 45 billion roubles. “This is attributable, among other things, to the fact that CSOs were actively involved in solving pressing social problems over what was a very challenging three-year period”, said Evlampieva.
CSOs receive the majority of funding through a range of subsidies. “The amount of funds that are awarded on a competitive basis is growing year on year. Targeted grants are a convenient way for CSOs to receive regular funding”, says Evlampieva.
“The trend of recent years is growing financial support for CSOs at municipal level. In 2022. 73 regions provided such assistance compared to 67 the previous year. 100% of municipalities in six regions provided help to CSOs, namely Tyumen, Yaroslavl and Magadan oblasts, Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs and Krasnodar Krai.
In terms of CSO access to the social services’ market, Bashkortostan finished top of the ratings for providing the most support to SONGOs and social entrepreneurs in 2022, with Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Mansi Autonomous Okrugs in second place. For the first time, Yaroslavl oblast and Primorsky Krai made it into the top six.
The main features that are characteristic to the leading regions are the range of municipal programmes offering help to CSOs, the use of social contracting, as well as personalised financing for the provision of services.
Dagestan, Tuva, Karachay-Cherkessia and Ingushetia completed the ratings where, according to Evlampieva, there have been difficulties with the “completeness of the information submitted by the regions to the Ministry of Economic Development for reporting purposes”.
According to the latest Ministry figures, the total amount of funds provided by the regions to SONGOs last year totalled 70 billion roubles and was allocated to 7,200 non-State businesses, including SMEs. Thirty-four million people used social services once but under the current system it is difficult to identify them as some may have taken advantage of these services more than once, said Evlampieva.
The number of CSOs providing services is growing in almost all areas, although not exclusively in social services as used to be the case. The leading areas in which CSOs are involved are social protection (29%), education (28%) and sport (17%). The number of non-profit healthcare providers has grown (11%) but only 5% of providers are promoting cultural activities, although here “there is the potential for growth”, said Evlampieva.
Changes in legislation
Marina Brovtsyna, Deputy Head of the Department for the Development of CSOs in the Ministry of Economic Development, spoke of legislative changes that will affect the not-for-profit sector.
Amendments are expected to be made to the Government Decree No.1290 dated 30.07.2021 “On the Register of Socially-Oriented Non-Governmental Organisations”. It is possible that CSOs receiving State support will be included on that list.
A Bill is currently being drafted that will amend the list of socially-oriented activities (changes are being made to the federal law “On Non-Profit Organisations”).
Animal shelters and organisations that help families experiencing difficult life situations will also be added to this list, with the exact wording yet to be finalised. These changes are currently being considered by the Government.
Landscaping is also likely to be added to the list of socially-oriented activities. The precise wording will be agreed with the Ministry of Justice, with a draft currently being discussed by relevant agencies. According to Brovtsyna, the changes will make it easier for organisations, for example, to take on volunteer landscapers to create suitable areas.
Brovtsyna also reminded those present about the Bill that will exempt individuals from paying personal income tax on the grants they receive. It is currently at second reading stage and, according to her, “the law will be adopted soon”.