27 October 2020

Applications now open for the 2021 edition of the EFC Philanthropic Leadership Platform: Russia-Europe

Modern Russian philanthropy is a relatively young, dynamic and growing sector, and as such it faces multiple challenges as well as many untapped opportunities, especially in light of the current pandemic.

Against this backdrop, 20 philanthropy professionals from Russia and Europe will gather in the first half of 2021 to share knowledge, experience, and insights during the 2nd edition of the Philanthropic Leadership Platform: Russia-Europe. Applications are open until 23 December for the programme.

This intensive, peer-learning leadership development programme normally takes place in either Europe or Russia, alternating for each edition. For the 2021 edition, due to the COVID-19 situation, the programme will be a mix of online and in-person activities:

  • Stage 1: Online from March to June 2021
  • Stage 2: Multi-day gathering of participants, June 2021

The global pandemic is cruelly exposing some of the most fragile parts of our society and now more than ever we need new ideas, new strategies, new ways of finding answers. The PLP Russia-Europe exchange is about learning both with and from each other to try to find these answers.– Delphine Moralis, Chief Executive, EFC

Amid the pandemic, philanthropic organisations have been channelling more resources towards the communities where they are based. Moreover, travel restrictions and social distancing measures have forced us to concentrate more on our immediate surroundings. While these factors are pushing us towards localism, the need for maintaining a strong international outlook and building and nurturing long-term professional relationships across national borders cannot be stressed enough in order for us to be able to tackle the global challenges we face.

2020 challenges the entire global society and economy as well as the philanthropic sector. The increasing complexity of the social context caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is driving us to unite and address new global concerns.  We are convinced that the accumulation of shared knowledge, collective search for innovative solutions and mutual professional exchange are some of the most effective ways of development. That is why, despite all the difficulties, we continue our Russian-European peer-to-peer exchange program and hope that through international dialogue and partnership we will be able to tackle new challenges the world is facing.” Oksana Oracheva, General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation.

This exchange is a unique opportunity for learning-centred networking which is key to enhancing cooperation, deepening our connection to each other, and standing in solidarity. The disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic demands recovering, rethinking, and redesigning our systems. Therefore, the 2021 exchange will be built around four key themes in the context of COVID-19:

  • Emerging practices in philanthropy and crisis leadership
  • Community regeneration and economic recovery
  • Digitalisation
  • Future of education

Based on the success of the EFC’s Philanthropic Leadership Platform exchanges between China and Europe, and Latin America and Europe, in 2019 the EFC launched the Philanthropic Leadership Platform: Russia-Europe in partnership with, and with the financial support of, the Vladimir Potanin Foundation.

More information and how to apply

The programme is open to representatives of private foundations; corporate foundations or corporations involved in grantmaking; public charities and associations; philanthropy infrastructure organisations; and other types of philanthropic organisations.

EFC members will be given priority in the selection of European participants. For more information on the programme, and to apply, go to: PLP: Russia-Europe

Or get in touch with Sevda Kilicalp, EFC Policy and Incubation Manager, at skilicalp@efc.be


Why a Russia-Europe PLP?

The growing community of Russian non-profit leaders is engaged in spotlighting inequities and finding solutions to burning social issues. They define to a large extent the philanthropy landscape which is characterised by growing civic engagement; development of community foundations, corporate and private philanthropy; nascence of new mechanisms to address sustainability concerns; and increasing institutionalisation and professionalisation of the sector in tandem with active informal movements and other stakeholders.

Looking at differences between Russian and West European philanthropy is important to highlight gaps in the maturity of the sectors and cultures of giving. Participants learn about different models and approaches, professional standards, issues on the philanthropic agenda and the current states of play.

While it may seem that Russian philanthropy is in a catching-up phase of development, it has a whole range of successful practices and innovative solutions to be shared with the global philanthropic community. At the same time, the accumulated knowledge and expertise of mature European philanthropies are of particular interest to professionals from more emerging backgrounds.

In this sense, peer-learning is a mutually enriching process for leaders from different countries that stimulates critical thinking and innovation.