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Charity. BLOG of Roman Rubchenko, Director of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation



Over the past year, the number of philanthropists in Ukraine has become greater. Every third resident of the country transfers funds to charity. Every second person helps unknown people or gives alms. According to the World Giving Index, the country’s ranking has risen on 16 positions. What is the reason for our compatriots' desire to help their neighbor, and how to make this help be more effective?

New traditions of charity

Ukrainians are active people, they do not expect mercy from the government, but do everything themselves. It was most pronounced at the events of recent years. When in 2014 the country was on the verge of collapse, when it became clear that no state institutions could cope with the situation, civil society responded. People ceased to fear responsibility and began to show initiative. A powerful volunteer movement appeared, the result of which became obvious to the public. Thus, there is a high rating of trust to volunteers and private individuals.

With the outbreak of hostilities, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation immediately reacted to the situation by switching from strategic long-term tasks to humanitarian problems. The main one is to help people survive and provide them with timely help. Evacuation, resettlement, medications, urgent operations, psychological support, and food assistance – a number of unique projects aimed at saving lives appeared. The Foundation has accumulated a wealth of experience that it is ready to share. 

In 2014, in Ukraine, many new charitable initiatives have arisen, which bring a lot of benefits to society to this day. In many of these organizations, I see a lot of energy, ambitious goals and great potential that cannot always be fully revealed due to the lack of effective work algorithms. Fortunately, these organizations do not need to wait until this experience is accumulated, as there is an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of their work today.

Cheat sheet for a charity giver

Today, in order to increase the effectiveness of charity, it is necessary to stop pretending that it has nothing in common with business. In fact, these systems are very similar. Finance, people management, cooperation with partners, planning, procurement, and logistics – everything needs to be borrowed and transferred to the charitable sphere. It involves a lot of not indifferent people, specialists in their field. For example, doctors, teachers, social workers. They perfectly support energy and the desire to help in people, are able to build the right relations with the charity recipients. But, unfortunately, this is only half of the success. Lack of managerial experience often does not allow achieving high, and most importantly, tangible results. Therefore, a team, in addition to empaths, should also engage specialists in administration, planning and project management. They have to organize processes in a qualitative way and provide them with adequate resources in a timely manner so that assistance will be provided when it is required to the one who needs it. So if you want to increase the efficiency of your charity, look at the scheme that a similar business operates. This is the best cheat sheet.

State and charity

Today, the world’s large companies and charitable organizations are coping with many problems that the state cannot solve by itself.

Billions are donated to fight and prevent diseases, to build medical and educational institutions, to clean water reservoirs and protect the environment, to help elderly people and orphans, to fight smoking and preventing suicides. The list is huge.

But in order to solve at least one of the problems, we need to set it out first, to profess that such a problem exists and discuss it with all the participants.

It is necessary to attract public, private and state resources, take a reality check and then create a mechanism for solving the problem.

The main mission of the state in this process is to build fair and transparent rules of the game, provide fair refereeing, not only to make laws, but also to create such conditions under which doing good would be easy, so that there is no need to go through circles of bureaucratic hell if a person or company wants to help.

For example, in the United States there is a simple mechanism that allows you to deduct a certain percentage of income spent on charity at the end of the year when completing the tax declaration. Donated – received a receipt – attached it to the declaration. That’s it! And you can provide any help, beginning with donating things to real estate and securities. There is also a huge choice of whom and how you can help. Moral satisfaction, the right of choice and the absence of bureaucratic paperwork are the most important incentives for charity. 

Way to successful charity

Summarizing the above, it is possible to identify the main factors that affect today’s successful development of charity in the country. 

  • Desire. The basis of charity is the desire to help one’s neighbor, which is commonly found in citizens of Ukraine. In order to maintain and strengthen this desire, it is necessary to create a mechanism that allows people to pursue good works easily.
  • Efficiency.  Domestic charitable organizations need to borrow the experience of business structures. This will instantly improve the efficiency of their work.
  • Honesty and transparency. For large companies and charitable organizations to solve social problems of the state, the state has to create conditions for fair and transparent work of the third sector. 

The faster these three steps on the way to successful charity are made, the more noticeable the result will be, the more social problems will be solved, the more people will receive timely assistance.