Why we need grant management administration

In 2019 the we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Foundation’s work. This prompted us not only to summarize and systematize our achievements, but also to recall that we may turn any result into a tool for implementing our strategy. In particular, we are enhancing the grant management at the Foundation. Our procedures are becoming more systematic and flexible: this is a necessary condition for scaling up activities and maximizing the effect.

We have extended the term of most projects to three years, provided for the possibility of a one-time extension according to the results for the same period and of receiving additional financial support. Maximum grant amounts have increased in many competitions.

We ensure that beneficiaries and partners are independent in decision-making, provide sustained funding and exclude long-standing approvals. In this way, they can make better use of innovations, quickly respond to rapid changes in environment and achieve more lasting impact.

How we administer grants

The grant management system has a positive effect on the work of both partners and grantees, and the Foundation itself. In particular, it makes it possible to:

  • build partnership relations with beneficiaries, where everyone is responsible for the result;

  • analyze own results in order to develop;

  • achieve sustainable transformations in selected areas;

  • exchange ideas and tools between programs;

  • adapt to different tasks and formats of interaction;

  • fulfill the obligations of a charitable organization and ensure the targeted use of funds.


How it works

The grant management system is consistent with the principles and values ​​of the Foundation.

✔ Grants are only provided on a competitive basis. We do not consider individual requests and appeals out of competition or out of scope of the Foundation's charitable programs.

✔ We support business trips and educational tours for skills improvement and professional exchange between specialists in the fields of culture, education, philanthropy, etc., the implementation of various types of projects by teams and organizations, the development of institutions.

✔ Open access and transparency of procedures is ensured by online grant management, through zayavka.fondpotanin.ru. This tool helps us meet the requirements of the digital era, create and maintain the grant history of the Foundation.

✔ Trust is another important principle in grant management. We are responsible for our activities and expect responsibility from contestants, grantees, and experts. We expect the data that they provide to the Foundation to be reliable, complete, and compliant with the terms of competitions and the rights of any third persons. In the event that we come across inaccurate information or a conflict of interest, an applicant shall lose their right to participate in a competition or to receive a grant at any stage, and an expert will be removed from the evaluation of applications.


How competitions are held

Competitions can be either:

  • open calls — with an unlimited number of participants; or

  • invitation-only — with a limited number of participants for implementing innovative partnership projects.

Each competition is focused either only on organizations (legal entities), or only on individuals. In order for a competition to be held, the Foundation may involve a partner organization — an operator.

Competitions provide equal opportunities to win, setting no quotas or preferences for participants from certain regions and types of organizations or for individual categories.

We do not provide grants to:

  • individual entrepreneurs;

  • commercial organizations of any form, their branches and representative offices;

  • political parties;

  • religious organizations;

  • self-regulatory organizations.

We do not provide grants to nor appoint the following as experts and partners:

  • public servants;

  • terrorists and extremists included in the national register;

  • disqualified persons entered in the national register;

  • persons convicted of corruption and money laundering.

We do not provide grants for:

  • paid publications in academic journals, dedicated journals, mass media

  • the creation of commercial copyright works (artistic, literary, musical, stage and other works)

  • acquisition of real estate (and land), capital construction of new buildings

  • purchase of vehicles

  • repayment of an organisation's debt

  • payment of overdue taxes, fees, fines, penalties


How funding decisions are made

All competitive applications are evaluated by independent experts who are renowned professionals in the field of the competition. We maintain an interdisciplinary and interregional balance, the continuity of expert knowledge along with annual rotation of the jury. To ensure impartial and independent decision-making, representatives of the Foundation and the operator do not take part in the examination.

Funding decisions are made based on expert recommendations and approved by the General Director of the Foundation.


10 Steps of Grant Management

  • Competitions

We set out all the terms and conditions of the competitions in the “Principles and Guidelines for Providing Grants”: opportunities for participation, rules of expertise, requirements for agreements with winners and reporting requirements. The principles are published on the Foundation’s website together with the Order on Holding the Competition and the operator’s contact details if the competition is held with the involvement of a partner organization.

  • Calls for applications and information campaigns

Applicants register a personal account and fill out an online application on the Foundation’s portal before the specified final date. The ability to edit or submit an application automatically ceases at midnight Moscow time on the specified final date.

For applicants, we publish answers to frequently asked questions and video tutorials, hold consultations, webinars and presentations. Each applicant may also seek personalized advice from the Foundation or the competition operator.

The application status is “Draft”/“Submitted”.

  • Checking the submitted applications for compliance with the formal criteria of the competition and the accuracy of the information

The formal criteria are defined in the “Principles and Guidelines for Providing Grants”. They do not allow ambiguous interpretation or value judgments. When filling out the application, the applicants should provide assurances of the completeness and accuracy of the information, along with the supporting documents.

The application status is “Accepted”/“Not accepted”.

  • Evaluation of the applications

The criteria, stages and formats for evaluating applications that are admitted according to formal criteria are set in the “Principles and Guidelines for Providing Grants”. Each application at each stage is evaluated by at least two independent experts. The evaluation can be carried out in absentia or in absentia and in person: by arranging a Skype interview, face-to-face testing, meetings of the Expert Council.

When filling out an online form in their account, experts rate and provide the Foundation with assurances that there is no conflict of interest. In the event of conflict of interest, the expert is not allowed to evaluate.

The application status is “Under examination”/“Passed examination”.

  • Announcement of the winners

The number of winners and the size of grants are approved in the Competition Order. The list of winners is published on the Foundation's website after verification of the recommended candidates by the legal department. The Foundation emails its congratulations to the winners and instructions on how to exercise their right to receive a grant.

The application status is “Supported”/“Not Supported”.

  • Preparation of grant agreements

In addition to sending instructions, we arrange webinars or workshops for winners. The Foundation also provides individual consultations.

Winners fill out the Additional Data for Concluding a Grant Agreement in their account. In the form, one can specify additional project parameters, budget items, determine the size of the installments. The agreement ot be signed is automatically generated in pdf.

The application status is “Grantee”.

  • Amendments of the terms of grant agreements

Grant agreements give grantees the opportunity to independently make decisions and adjust project plans without coordination or with minimal coordination with the Foundation. Permissible independent amendments are defined in the agreements. The terms would be the same for the winners of the same competition: stages, team members, redistribution of budget items, one-time extension. In other cases, grantees fill out a Request for Amending the Terms of the Agreement and, if the Foundation approves the request, sign a supplement to the agreement. The agreement to be signed is automatically generated in pdf.

  • Monitoring and expert support of projects

We help grantees to achieve maximum results and use a wide range of tools, in addition to financial support: information, expert, educational. “Extensive tools” are combined as an open knowledge base: webinars, recommendations, manuals, success stories, research data, interviews on the Foundation’s website and in social media. "Intensive tools" are built on the principle of program-long-learning: training programs, business games, joint strategic sessions and leveling up of social skills for beneficiaries, experts, and partners.

Also, throughout the grant, we conduct monitoring in order to keep abreast of events, timely identify problems, and help in promoting the results. There are two types of monitoring. Offsite — when employees of the Foundation and the operator together with experts visit grantees and their events, meet with graduates. Digital — subscribing to the project pages in social media, websites, publications and project diaries on the portal.

  • Grant reporting

All grantees should submit narrative and financial reports on the projects, while fellows should submit narrative reports. For projects implemented for less than 12 months, only final reports; for longer projects, interim and final reports. Reporting requirements are set in the “Principles and Guidelines for Providing Grants” and in agreements. Reports should be filled out using online forms on the portal, no hard copies are required. Scans of supporting documents and certified financial statements should be attached in personal account.

  • Closure of grant agreements

After accepting the final report on a grant, the Foundation shall email a letter to the grantee about the closure of the grant.

The application status is “Graduate”.

For whom the grant management system is important 

  • employees of the Foundation;

  • experts and partners of the Foundation, competition operators;

  • applicants;

  • winners of competitions — fellows, grantees, beneficiaries;

  • members of project teams and project partners;

  • charitable organizations and foundations that hold grant competitions.