What Russian CSOs can expect from grant-givers next year
What CSOs can expect from grant-givers next year
New features and priorities for grant-givers in Russia.
Discussions on “Dialogue between donors and CSOs” took place at the international forum for public participation #ustogether.
Should the process for the award of grants be made simpler or more involved?
Ekaterina Dragunova, Chair of the Moscow Committee for Public Relations and Youth Policy, explained that the Moscow government has long had rules and criteria for awarding grants to CSOs which have remained unchanged during that time. The only thing that varies each year is that it is members of the community themselves who agree the categories for the next competition. They also try to make the application and approval process as digital as possible.
Igor Sobolev, Advisor to the Presidential Grants Foundation’s CEO, sees no reason to simplify the requirements for grant applications, preferring that the focus should be on improving management and fundraising skills. “Another issue is that many regional grant competitions are too complicated where there is cause for the rules to be simplified. On the other hand, there is too much responsibility on the shoulders of regional organisers who are not always able to adopt a simplified approach that private charities, for example, can follow”, said the speaker.
Nikolai Trotsky, Director of Communications at the Art, Science and Sport Foundation, agrees that simplifying competition requirements will not make potential projects stronger and that the main task of grant-givers is to organise training programmes for those who need them. Support from local agencies is also important.
“When developing projects, we first hold strategic sessions with regional authorities during which we discuss what support measures regional agencies can provide to successful applicants. This dialogue allows us to develop local initiatives”, said Trotsky.
Plans for working with applicants
Anna Sorokina, Programme Director of the Social Platform of the Roscongress Foundation’s Innosotsium project, believes it would be a good idea to simplify the application process and to ensure that those taking part are fully aware of what is involved. “The process should be clear and comprehensible and not put people off”, said Sorokina.
Anton Dolgov, Executive Director of the Presidential Grants Foundation, said that this year his team has discovered an initiative called the Social Project Planning Marathon, a training programme where the theory is first explained online, with participants then working in groups with moderators to learn how to fine tune their own projects.
Those interested have until 19 December to register for the next Marathon, which will involve both beginners and experienced participants alike.