Dramatic fall in foreign companies’ support for Russian NGOs

Olga Alexeeva

In spring 1998 CAF Russia conducted a survey of company giving by 115 foreign companies working in Russia. Two years later they carried out a second survey. One thing they discovered was a massive fall-off in the number of companies supporting NGOs, from 41 per cent to 5 per cent, and a correspondingly large shift towards supporting projects for the needy such as children’s homes and homelessness shelters.
 
The financial crisis of August 1998, the resignation of President Yeltsin and the start of a new Chechnya war all happened in the period between the two surveys. These events may at least partially explain these startling results.

How companies were selected

The surveys were conducted in Moscow and St Petersburg, where most foreign companies have their offices. The 115 companies came from 24 countries; 92 per cent had operations in different regions of Russia, while 8 per cent were based only in Moscow and the Moscow region.

With the aim of achieving as representative a sample as possible, companies were selected taking into account place of operation, nature of business, size of business, and how well known they are among customers/the general public in Russia. Companies were then divided into three groups on the basis of country:

 
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