9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS16 Russia and Its European Identity

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Contemporary Russia as a Process: Where Does It Lead? Building II, C4.05

Public Involvement in Civil Activity: Philanthropy in Russia

The development of the public in Russia is increasingly becoming an important political element. These issues are discussed in the Public Chamber and in the special council for public development with the Russian President.

The aim of researchers is not only to scientifically describe the evolution in this sphere, but also to give specific forecasts and recommendations to the government/authorities to implement changes aimed at the expansion of public activity.

That is why the Center for Studies of civil society and non-for-profit sector of the State University - Higher School of Economics conducts sociological monitoring of the Russian public. One of the most important issues is Russian involvement in civil charity, in particular community services and monetary donations.

The results of the nationwide polls conducted by the center (It was polled 1600 people, aged 18 and over, selected by multistage stratified random sample. The maximum allowable sampling error 2.45% with 95% confidence interval) showed that 48% of Russians are involved in charity. According to international studies conducted by CIVICUS, Russia is ahead of some European countries such as Poland, Germany, and Italy. Moreover, there are favorable conditions for the further expansion of Russians' involvement in charitable activity. Judging by the polls, overall, the population established a positive attitude. Almost 60% of respondents believe that charity should be a matter for everyone to the extent of their means. However the main problem is the low level of trust held by NGOs. Only 17% of Russians believe that the activity of these organizations is truly non-profit.

Thus, we can say, that there is a gap. People are willing to give to charity, but have no faith in the charitable institutions. Making the information about NGOs' activities publicly available will enhance the people?s trust towards the institutionalization of charity.

This report will review the aspects of Russian charitable activities and indicate the place of Russia among other European countries according to these indicators. Also, it will analyze the ways that can gain the base of civil society in the country.