Miraculous charity stories
‘I’ve been involved in the Community Foundations Programme for many years. That’s why I find it the most interesting and important story. It allows you to meet great people and witness positive change that’s nowadays required in towns and villages. Meeting positive people, listening to their miraculous stories is very encouraging and inspiring’. Having said that, Larisa Avrorina, the manager of CAF Russia’s community foundations development programme, starts a round-table discussion on ‘Local Philanthropy of Federal Importance’.
Just that cheerfully, on the 2nd day of the International Forum ‘Women’s Dialogue. Infinity Charity’ one of the sections started a heated and productive discussion during which the participants of the roundtable were able to share their experience and obtain a lot of useful information.
To create something useful, you need good, high-quality material. Just as a house is made of bricks, so a profound and effective discussion consists of informational blocks. The experts presented that very building material in the form of reports at the roundtable.
Larisa Avrorina laid the groundwork for the discussion, describing community foundations (CF) as a means for dealing with social problems. It turns out that, initially, the aim of such organizations was completely different. When social responsible business was being generated, the foundations provided their services by creating special programmes to help businessmen use community’s resources properly and efficiently.
However, nowadays CF have turned into a proper negotiation platform which unites officials, deputies, business entities and other organizations, the representatives of which develop their communities and solve local problems.
By the way, unlike other charitable organizations, foundations support action groups which may eventually become nonprofit organizations. Apart from that, CF promote philanthropy, causing people to act and voluntarily donate money to the development of their community. Another peculiarity of such organizations is their educational activities as foundations give grants to teach people, tell them how to set up their own business or launch their own project.
It was a solid informational basis for the following reports. The speakers told the audience about the organizations which were formed under different circumstances, which used different approaches as a basis for their activities. ‘It’s important that every foundation has its own unique history, its own technologies and methods. At today’s session somebody said that successful organizations don’t share the knowledge they’ve acquired. However, everyone believes that it’s not the case with community foundations. They’re always eager to talk about their activities’, commented Larisa Avrorina.
As for the participants of the roundtable, they only proved this statement. For example, Marina Mikhailova, the director of 'Garant', the Arkhangelsk Centre for Social Technologies, shares her experience on a regular basis as she feels the urge to pass on the knowledge she has accumulated.
The participants were genuinely interested in Marina Mikhailova’s report. Not only was it informatively useful, it was also full of jokes and funny stories. That’s why toward the end of the roundtable the guests asked the expert to elaborate on one of the foundation’s programmes, a charity marathon ‘Kind Arkhangelsk’ which is aimed at involving the citizens in solving social problems regarding territory, promoting private charities in the Arkhangelsk Region, etc.
‘We decided to put money into the bottle, but when the charity ends, we don’t want to cut the decorated bottles to take the money out. That’s why we have to do it with our hands only. Every time we did it, this procedure was like a real show. The only trouble is to find participants with long fingers’, Marina Mikhailova told of charity events aimed at solving social problems.
What’s interesting is that the members of the foundations are very creative people. ‘We also have another technology, which is fundraising. It’s used wherever there’s a lack of facilities or human resources. In this case, the foundation sends its dignitaries to participate in performances and shows. We’ve got mayors, doctors, bankers act for their countrymen on stage. The money raised by giving performances is spent on the promotion of social projects and programmes. The foundation also helps talented people. Who would’ve thought that, thanks to the foundation, some village in Altai would win a Grand Prix at the international festival! Besides, CF produce films about their activities to tell people fascinating stories. Sometimes we even organize film festivals in towns and villages’, Larisa Avrorina shared her experience.
According to the moderator, the participants told us about difficult yet interesting work related to people, positive changes, the responsibility for their future, the future of their family and kids. Such work pleases the experts and benefits the society. ‘It’s like we live in the dark…It seems that nobody needs anything, but as soon as a community foundation appears, it brings along many miraculous stories’.
news agency of Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Alyona Kostynyuk