Philanthropy in Russia

This report on Russian philanthropy is part of a larger study, started in 2016, to review the current state of philanthropy in emerging economies and the role philanthropy is playing in the world today. This is the second report from the study, which we hope will eventually form part of the Philanthropy Bridge Series.

The first report in the series is on Indian philanthropy and was published in October 2017.

The report provides an overview of the current state of philanthropy in Russia, based on conversations with people who have been working to promote, support or strengthen different areas of philanthropy. Our aim is to shine a light on new ideas and innovations, and the implications of these for the future role of philanthropy. We hope this will enable us to better address the questions: what is the role and purpose of philanthropy and how do we build a supportive ecosystem for it?

The report is divided into five main sections. The introduction provides a snapshot of the context and landscape of Russian philanthropy and introduces the study. The second section lays out what currently exists in terms of philanthropy in the country. This includes various forms of giving by the wealthy, mainly through private foundations and corporate foundations; community philanthropy; social justice philanthropy; giving by middle-class individuals, and the new breed of fundraising foundations. The third section looks at what is driving philanthropy in Russia, while the fourth looks at factors that are holding it back. The last section lays out the potential of philanthropy in Russia.

This study is neither exhaustive nor complete – so the report coming out of it should be considered a working paper, a work in progress. With a country as vast as Russia, the insights presented here can only be a starting point, not a finished product. We hope that others reading the report will comment, disagree with it and add to it, perhaps publishing other working papers that might fill in the gaps.

This report is authored by Caroline Hartnell and published by Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace in association with CAF Russia, Alliance and WINGS.

To comment on findings or engage in a conversation about this report, please write to us at info@psjp.org.