On February 20, 2020, Irina Tolmacheva, Head of the Legal Department of the Gaidar Institute,  Member of  the Board of the National Endowment Association took part in the meeting of the Council on Development of Regions’ Social Innovations dedicated to the topic:  “Endowment Funds – New Opportunities for Development of Non-Profit Organizations”. The moderator of the meeting held at the Council of Federation was Galina Karelova, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Federation.
Tolmacheva-20.02.2020_2.jpgAmendments to the existing legislation on endowment funds were presented at the meeting by Tatyana Ilyushnikova, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. Those amendments were the output of the two-year elaboration by the working group which included Irina Tolmacheva, Alla Samoletova (the European University in St. Petersburg), Svetlana Lavrova (the Fund of the European University in St. Petersburg), Oksana Oracheva (Vladimir Potanin’s  Charity Fund), Alexei Anisin(the Moscow City Teacher Training  University, the Perspektiva Specific-Purpose Capital Fund), Lyudmila Panteleyeva (PAO Sberbank), Artem Shardin and Elena Ivanitskaya (The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation).

The existing practice and proposals on further upgrading of the legislation on endowments were presented in the reports by Oksana Oracheva, General Director of Vladimir Potanin’s  Charity Fund; Artem Shadrin,  Senior Director for Innovation Policy, NRU HSE; Natalia Steshina, Executive Director of  the “Science to Children” Fund; Yekaterina Usanina, Deputy Director of the “Dobry Gorod Peterburg” Charity Fund; Elena Gracheva, Director of Administration of the AdVita Charity Fund; Oleg Sharipkov, Executive Director of the “Grazhdansky Souz” Penza Regional Social Charity Fund; Yevgenia  Pena, Executive Director of the “Razvitie SPBGU” Endowment  Fund; Svetlana Lavrova, Chairman of the Board of the National Endowment Association, Executive Director of the Endowment Fund of the European University).

Senators supported the request of non-governmental organizations and educational establishments to support the development of endowments as an innovative instrument of investments into social services. Socially-oriented non-profit organizations need financial stability and the long-term strategy of development and endowments should play an important role in achievement of this goal. ”Endowments are useful to those who think about the sustainability of their institutions and make long-term plans. It makes it feasible to implement long-term programs on development of breakthrough technologies in treatment of oncological and other serious diseases, promotion of social security and active longevity,  implementation of the initiatives of local communities and support of students’ innovative start-ups”,  the Deputy Speaker of the Council of Federation said. 

Tolmacheva-20.02.2020_1.jpgBoth the advantages of this instrument and insufficient efficiency of the existing legislation in facilitation of further growth of the sector, as well as a low information awareness of socially-oriented non-profit organizations and their donors about endowment options were stated in the reports. All the participants, as well as the National Endowment Association submitted to the Council their proposals on the upgrading of legislative acts on endowments.

“At the level of the state, endowments perform two functions: it is an instrument of sustainable development and system support of the non-profit sector, as well as a key source of long-term money in the economy so much needed for development of structural investments and promotion of sustainability of the country’s financial system”, Svetlana Lavrova noted.

Following the results of the meeting, a decision was taken to continue the debates on this topic at the 4th Forum of Regions’ Social Innovations, as well as instruct the Government of the Russian Federation to consider a number of measures aimed at upgrading the mechanisms of formation and utilization of endowments of non-profit organizations, including the introduction of tax incentives.