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The Vladimir Potanin Foundation held the VIII “Endowments” Forum

The results of the annual “Endowments” forum, which took place in Moscow 4 June, have been summarized

The “Endowments” Forum annually brings together representatives of endowment funds and the non-profit sector, becoming a platform for discussing industry development issues. This year's event took place in Moscow 4 June. The primary objective of the program was to collaboratively explore and address complex questions regarding the management and transformation of endowment funds, as well as to examine their prospects and development strategies.

The forum was opened by a plenary discussion titled "What message do we convey to society about endowments, and how is that message perceived?” during which the experts discussed the topic of endowment representation in traditional social media and analyzed the results of a research on the informational transparency of Russian endowment funds.

Oksana Oracheva, General Director of the Foundation:

Currently, there is a growing societal demand for transparency in endowments, reflected in both international and Russian contexts. This demand is evolving: whereas previously, the focus was on how funds were spent, there is now a significant emphasis on showcasing the investment component of endowments. This shift brings the issue of endowment reporting to the forefront, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of the entire process. While we have become adept at discussing project support, we often overlook the need to address the details of asset portfolios.
One effective response to this demand has been open communication, particularly through social media, which should be viewed as a vital reporting tool. For instance, in the past year, the Endowment section on our website has been visited by over 4,500 people, and our Articles of Association have been downloaded more than 1,000 times. This indicates the importance of self-reflection within the sector and underscores the need to determine what information to provide to the public. By doing so, we can demonstrate the efficiency of endowments as a critical tool for organizational sustainability

Dmitry Grishankov, General Director of the RAEX Rating Agency, noted that the modern endowment is becoming a symbol of an organization's activities, so issues related to the accessibility and informativeness of endowment funds reporting are becoming a crucial factor in the development not only of specific funds but of the entire sector.

Dmitry Mindich, Director of Research Projects at the RAEX Rating Agency, spoke about the content of the study on the public field of endowments, for which 240 modern endowment funds were analyzed. The main conclusions of the study were the need to improve the accessibility of public sources of information about the activities of Russian endowments, to carefully analyze audience requests, and to develop the websites of endowment funds.

Anastasia Saponova, Deputy Head of the Zircon Research Group, revealed the topic of endowment coverage in the media and social media, and presented valuable information about publications that work with the topic of endowments, spoke about the features of the social media of the endowment funds themselves, and about events supporting endowments.

Another speaker in the discussion was AI, which answered the moderator's question about the transparency standards of endowment funds of non-profit organizations.

The session was moderated by Evgeny Stodushny, General Director of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Philharmonic.

The topic of the second discussion was "Establishing Standards for Reporting by Management Companies: Is It Necessary?". The session was attended by Ilya Barkovsky, Director of Business Development at April Capital Management company, Armen Mkhitaryan, General Director of Trackrecords LLC, Sergey Stukalov, General Director of Ronin Trust Management company, and Vladimir Tsuprov, Advisor to the General Director of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. The session was moderated by Zarema Kasabieva, Vice-Rector for Strategic Enrollment Management, Student Affairs and Alumni Relations at New Economic School (NES) and a member of the Council for the endowment use of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation.

The speakers discussed factors that influence the profit of endowments, including timely reporting, talked about the opportunities and risks of management companies, and discussed tools that help structure the portfolio to fully meet the goals of endowments. The experts did not reach a definitive conclusion on the need for unified reporting standards, but the formation of recommendations by management companies will certainly help improve the system of interaction within the endowment sector.

The next event of the Forum was a roundtable in the format of a social stand-up on the topic: "How small endowments live”. It was attended by Oleg Shaprikov, Head of the Federal knowledge hub for endowments in NGOs, Daria Buyanova, Director of the Interregional endowment fund "Social Innovations", Alexander Myasnikov, Founder of the Charitable foundation "Foundation for the Support of Social Initiatives", Ksenia Obukhova, Director of the specialized еndowment management foundation "Community Capital", and Snezhana Frantsuzova, Marketing promotion specialist for endowments.

The experts discussed how regional endowments are structured and what social tasks they help to solve, pondered the distinctive features and similar values of regional and metropolitan endowments, and talked about the principles of creating and developing endowment funds in small regional organizations.

Another event was the panel discussion "Succession scenarios for Russian capital owners. What do endowments need to know?". The session participants included Denis Arkhipov, Managing Partner of the EPAM Law Office, Anna Goryacheva, Advisor to the First Vice President of Gazprombank, Yuri Gribanov, General Director of Frank RG, and independent expert Andrey Shpak.

The experts discussed the topic of individual wealth: the dominant profiles of private donors and the portrait of a major philanthropist, talked about the transfer of capital and the interaction of endowment funds with other structures, analyzed the challenges faced by philanthropists, and the legal tools that help build long-term relationships between investors and funds. The session was moderated by Veronika Misyutina, Head of Social Investment and Philanthropy at the SKOLKOVO School of Management.

Useful materials of the past forums, as well as information on the history and transformation of the endowments in Russia, are available at (please note the materials are in Russian)

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