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Foundation Case

In the analytical report, we highlight the basic communication principles which underpin the Foundation’s communications

Study on the Foundation’s Interaction with Partners, Fellows and Grantees

The Foundation has always paid special attention to establishing sustainable partnerships with non-profit organizations and humanitarian leaders, following its mission to bring together active and creative professionals. Constant increase in the scale of activities, expansion of programs, attraction of new target audiences, including the adoption of the “New Strategic Vision” in 2016, require a systematic analysis and improvement of approaches to interaction in order to maintain the traditions, culture and ethics of communication that have been developed in the Foundation during significant expansion of partners and beneficiaries.

One of the first steps towards such an approach was a study of the interaction quality with partners conducted by the Strategic Communications Agency at the request of the Foundation at the end of 2020. The combination of in-depth interviews and online surveys of a wider audience made it possible to develop an understanding of how the participants of the competitions, grantees, partners evaluate interaction with the Foundation; understanding of partners’ expectations and needs from such interaction, their wishes for further cooperation and improvement of the interaction. The survey and interview results are presented in this document.

We express our sincere gratitude to all participants.

Oksana Oracheva, the General Director of the Foundation:

“Throughout our work, the team pays great attention to interaction with partners, beneficiaries, and fellows: it is essential to understand what experience they get as a result of cooperation with us. The Review of the Center for Philanthropy Development, which we recently published, suggests looking at partnership and interaction from a new angle and analyzing how this subject manifests itself through the public face of each organization, through its website.

Naturally, we were interested in how effectively our values and practices in terms of working with grantees are presented on our website. The time was not chosen by chance: the subject of partnership with grantees was highlighted as one of the key priorities in the Foundation’s strategic vision, adopted in 2016. Moreover, there was another significant change in 2020: the number of partners and beneficiaries has dramatically increased. This was due to both the emergence of new anti-crisis competitions and the extension of grants. During the year, we took various measures to make our goals, objectives and tools more understandable.

This case is an attempt to see through the eyes of experts to what extent we managed to reflect our understanding of partnership on the website and identify areas for development. We turned to independent experts and received a valuable perspective, which, I am sure, will allow us to make our interaction with grantees even more understandable, productive, professional and trustworthy. Now we are ready to share the study results, as we are sure that they can be useful not only to us, but also to other organizations working with beneficiaries.”


Ekaterina Vereshagina, the General Director; Strategic Communications Agency

At the request of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, at the end of 2020, we conducted a comprehensive study on the quality of the Foundation’s interaction with partners and grantees. Such studies are a well-established practice of the largest donor organizations around the world. Therefore, in addition to a direct survey of grantees and partners, it was interesting to analyze the Foundation activities in the context of international experience, to compare approaches to organizing interaction and presenting its key principles in the public field, to identify areas for the development, taking into account the Russian specific context.

Within the study, we analyzed the Foundation transparency, based on materials in open sources, the availability and completeness of information about activities, including ongoing grant competitions, the structure of the website and convenience of navigation through it from the point of view of users, the possibility of prompt contact with the Foundation's employees responsible for various competitions. Particular attention was given to how the values and principles declared by the Foundation are reflected in the documents that directly regulate the organization work and the Foundation interaction with external audiences, and to what extent these documents are accessible and understandable to these audiences.

I am sincerely glad that the Foundation has decided to publish the results of our work. Openness and honesty of self-assessment are important components of a truly partnership approach and the basis for its improvement. I am sure that the material will be useful to a wide range of non-profit organizations that are aimed at long-term and productive relationships with their beneficiaries and partners.”