Russian attitudes to charitable giving
83% of Russians were involved in charity work during 2015, according to data gathered in an All-Russian representative survey conducted by QIWI (an online payment service provider) and Ipsos Comcon on philanthropic trends in Russia.
1st July marked the first year of a charity programme “For everyone” under which donations are made to a special account and divided equally among participating charities. These include the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “Children’s Villages – SOS”, Vladimir Spivakov Foundation, “Rusfond”, “Joy in Old Age”, “Downside Up”, “Faith”, “Artist” and the “Miloserdie” help service. The amount of money donated thus far is in excess of 8,500,000 roubles, with each charity receiving close to 1,000,000 roubles. More than 50,000 kind hearted people have also joined the programme during the year.
“The average donation is generally low, typically around 200-250 roubles. However, it’s important that such sums, albeit small, are made to charities on a regular basis”, said the singer, Olga Orlova, an ambassador of the “For everyone” programme.
QIWI decided to find out what people understood to be the meaning of charity and how QIWI users themselves prefer to donate their money. The survey was carried out through online research in cities with a population of more than 500,000 with respondents being 18 years and above.
“According to information from the “For everyone” programme, the range of areas that Russians are prepared to support is surprisingly broad, ranging from the marginalised or socially disadvantaged sectors of society and those in need of medical care to homeless animals and globally endangered wild animals. We are seeing that despite on-going economic difficulties, people view social issues in a thoughtful and systematic way. 83% of QIWI users have taken part in charitable work. According to our survey, apart from making cash donations, the company’s customers are interested in volunteering, crowdfunding, patronage and sponsorship”, said Yulia Grishina, Head of Social Projects and Charitable Programmes at QIWI.
The results of the survey show that the overwhelming majority of Russians are aware that charity is about making cash donations directly to specific individuals and families, as well as donating cash and various items, products and goods to charity (non-profit making) organisations. 70% of respondents also believe that charity consists of volunteer programmes that are organised in charitable (non-profit making) organisations and foundations.
Over the past 12 months, 38% of Russians have donated various items, products and goods to a charity or NGO. 36% gave money voluntarily to specific individuals and families and 34% have performed acts of charity on the streets, on the Metro and on trains.
In all, 5% of Russians take part in crowdfunding activities, 4% give money in support of culture, the Arts, and science (sponsorship). Knowing exactly how money raised is to be used is the main determining factor when making cash donations according to 54% of respondents. Private requests for help and personal knowledge of a particular problem where money is needed were two important considerations with 17% and 15% of respondents respectively.
The average donation (over the past 12 months) has been around 6,000 roubles.
Around half of Russians prefer to make donations personally. The second and third most popular ways of giving money are using donation boxes situated in public places and by text message.
Researchers found that the level of social self-regulation is relatively high in Russia. People are acutely aware of the importance of charity in providing help on a broad scale and are prepared to continue making donations irrespective of economic factors.
“The results of our research will certainly be taken into account and used to develop a communications platform for the “For everyone” programme. We’ll be able to engage more effectively with a broad Russian audience that’s already providing charitable assistance, as well as with users of QIWI who’ve expressed an interest in the programme and also with those who only donate money occasionally or those who restrict themselves to give money according to a specific need”, said Yulia Grishina. “We now have a clear understanding of the principal factors that people take into account when offering help. As a result, we will expand information channels and facilities to publicise acts of kindness by those who are sensitive to the problems faced by those in need and by society as a whole”, she added.
Author: Yulia Vyatkina
Participants at the “Community” forum meeting in Grozny to discuss trends in the NGO sector