Winners of 2017 Presidential Grants include ‘foreign agents’
The Presidential Grants Fund Administrator for the Development of Civil Society has announced the winners of the first NGO grants competition of 2017. Nearly 2.25 billion roubles have been distributed as a result.
The list of winners was endorsed following a meeting of the Presidential Grants Coordinating Committee and input from 460 independent experts and was published on the Presidential Grants Fund Administrator’s website. The winners section appeared on the site after 23.00 on 31 July. At 23.28, two minutes before the deadline for the winners’ announcement, the section crashed but by 23.50, access to it had been restored.
970 projects from 79 Russian regions were successful in the competition. The largest award of 50,000,000 roubles went to the Golden Mask festival. Other winners included the Association of Volunteer Centres (around 12,000,000 roubles for the creation of a Federal Resource Youth Volunteer Centre); the Perm Centre for Civic Analysis and Independent Research (around 9,500,000 for the design of new resource centres to support the work of regional SONGOs); Donors’ Forum (7,800,000 for the development of a corporate charity culture in Russian regions); The Sergey Belogolovtsev Ski Dreams Centre (nearly 13,000,000 for the All-Russian Joyful Dreams of Alpine Skiing and Roller Sports for Disabled Children); Charities Aid Foundation (4,500,000 for a charity project, #Generous Tuesday); Moscow Helsinki Group (around 3,000,000 for a publicly controlled laboratory network).
A number of smaller projects also received financial support. For example, the Association of Student Classical Music Clubs was awarded 500,000 roubles for the Musica Integral festival. 83% of current winners have never previously received Presidential Grant funding.
NGO ‘foreign agents’ also received funding including the Levada Centre which was awarded 2,300,000 roubles for research into the current state of palliative care in Russia, as well as the St. Petersburg Centre for the Development of NGOs.
However, there were some winners from previous years who were unsuccessful in the competition including the bikers’ organisation Night Wolves, which submitted three separate applications, reported Kommersant. In an interview with the Agency for Social Information, Ilya Chukalin, CEO of the Presidential Grants Fund, stated that the outcome of the competition was not a reflection of the work of a whole organisation but more down to the quality of the application.
6,581 applications for federal funding were submitted for the competition which is almost double the average for each contest during 2015-16. For the first time, a single Presidential Grants Fund Administrator for the Development of Civil Society and Coordinating Committee have been responsible for the allocation of funds. One of the functions of the latter is the formation of a Joint Experts Council that evaluates applications and helps to determine the winners.
Applications for the second NGO Presidential Grants competition will be accepted from 16 August until 29 September. Before then, the Presidential Grants Administrator will be publishing common errors that are often made when writing project applications. Regional Public Chambers will also be involved in public presentations of winning projects during which they can explain how people can achieve success and put their ideas into practice.