Russia’s Fundraisers Association awards prizes for charitable fund-raising
The Fundraisers’ Association has announced the winners of the “Golden Cat” prize for achievements in raising money for charitable and social projects. NGOs received recognition for their work in social advertising, online and offline fundraising activities, start-ups and online newsletters.
The “Golden Cat” prize was introduced by the Association in order to increase the status of the fundraising profession. According to the organisers, the award will also help in creating a discussion forum to debate topical issues related to public fundraising.
Projects implemented from June 2015 to May 2016 were eligible for the prize, with entries coming from many regions across Russia. The Association eventually settled on 14 applications from which a jury panel selected five winners. This panel consisted of representatives from the business world and Moscow’s Public Relations Committee, together with NGO Heads.
“This prize needs to be developed further. The charity sector has made great strides in Russia over the last 20 years. Once the talk was only of corporate philanthropy, nowadays charity is increasingly seen as being private as is the norm across the world. I also think we need to redouble our fundraising effort. In our charity work, we have always believed that the need to learn how to raise funds is just as important as offering help and donating money”, said Vera Sheynina, Public Relations Adviser at the energy company “Chevron”.
The winner of the “Social advertising” category was the “Happiness in Old Age” charity with its campaign to collect gifts for elderly people living in nursing homes called “Give old people the gift of a miracle”. This was the most popular of all the charity’s activities, according to Olga Markusheva, Private and Corporate Partners Operational Manager at “Happiness in Old Age”. Banners with a picture of the artist, Anna Silivonchik, appeared at bus stops in the centre of Moscow, with the Russ Outdoor Company providing 50 city-format surfaces free of charge.
Entries were received in this category by organisations that for the first time launched a social advertising campaign entitled “Is advertising a force for good?” Undoubtedly, yes. Of course, it’s down to the individual to decide if or when to offer help. All the same, it’s a good thing to have this conversation as well as encouraging people to do good”, added Tatyana Burmistrova, founder of the “Reach for Change” charity.
The prize for the best online fundraising newsletter went to the “We’re Together” charity based in Ekaterinburg. Using the newsletter, the charity promoted a project entitled “Together we can do anything” aimed at raising money for the transportation of blood and bone marrow samples; for help in the treatment and rehab of seriously ill children and early diagnosis of children with cancer.
The “Blackcurrant Party” charity “Creation” was recognised as having organised the best fundraising event. This involved holding a charity fair selling jams, pastries, cakes, pickles, as well as running an auction and a raffle. The “Blackcurrant Party” event was supported by actors, singers, writers and TV personalities. The charity also held an online auction on social networks through which people were able to make donations for books and a range of products.
“The budget outlay for an event which helped raise 2,500,000 roubles was nil. In addition, many star names asked if they could come along and what cakes would sell best. This prize is for the thousands of people who took part in this special event”, said Elena Smirnova, Director of the “Creation” charity.
The “Golden Cat” prize for best online fundraising activity went to the charity “Downside Up”. A New Year event organised by the “Further into the forest” charity raised money for a programme aimed at helping children with Down Syndrome during which it received donations from private donors and corporate partners. Companies on the other hand didn’t donate money from their own budget, preferring instead to raise money through their staff. In taking part in the event on the charity’s website, people could choose a “virtual” tree and any balloon to send a gift to a child. People were able to provide educational classes and one-to-one sessions as a children’s gift, as well as buying specialist material for their families. The average donation was 1,500 roubles.
The charity that provides help for socially vulnerable citizens “Help is Needed” received a prize for the best fundraising start-up venture. Helped by the information portal “These things”, the charity was able to draw people’s attention to social issues, as well as helping to resolve social problems in a systematic way and raising money for charity projects.
The organisers also recognised the contribution of “KAF” in promoting charity by awarding them a prize for implementing the international initiative “Generous Tuesday” in Russia. As a result of their efforts, donations from Russian citizens were on average 2.5% higher than normal, with many people taking the opportunity of seeing what it was like to be a volunteer, with companies, educational and cultural institutions able to support the collection of items and donations for charities.
The winners received their prizes from their sponsors including the Centre for NGO Development, the Donors’ Forum and Association of Interactive Agencies, as well as receiving tickets for a fundraising conference and help towards developing a marketing strategy. The prize was supported by the “Fishermen’s Fund” and Chevron.
NGOs also displayed their own “fundraising artefacts”, including items associated with charity fundraising. Charities brought T-shirts, caps, calendars, rubber ducks (from the rubber ducks charity swim organised by the “Reach for Change” charity).
At the “Golden Cat” award ceremony, there was also a mini-auction in support of the “Blagosfera” Centre. Staff from “Orthodoxy and Peace” charity and Cloud Payments donated hand-made watches.