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Discussion at UrFU: “How to Raise Money for Education and Science from Non-Government Sources“

November 3, 2015

The First International Forum “Academic Fundraising: Raising Money for University Development” was held on 30 October this year in Yekaterinburg. The meeting was organized by the Ural Federal University (UrFU), NUST “MISiS”, Project Office 5-100 and the Non-Commercial Partnership “The Donors Forum”. UrFU provided a venue for discussing matters related to money-gathering for research and education projects.  That this is a matter of considerable consequence was illustrated by the fact that Arcady Dvorkovich (Deputy Chairman of the Russian Government) and Alexander Povalko (Deputy Minister of Education and Science) both sent official greeting letters to be read to the attendees.

UrFU wasn’t selected as a forum for this event by chance. While opening the event, Victor Koksharov (UrFU Rector) said that his university now has the largest endowment fund in Russia – ‘The Ural Federal University 100th Anniversary Fund’ - which was created as a student initiative. “The key attribute of university endowment funds is the fact that they are created for ‘eternity’ and profits from them are used to fund university projects, including those initiated by the students themselves, Koksharov pointed out, adding that,” at the same time, the core capital of the endowment fund cannot be touched.”

During various discussions and round tables, presentations were made by the following notables: Masato Nikamura (CEO at LLC Panasonic RUS), John Middleton (CEO at CASE Europe), Martin Kaufman (President at Martin Kaufman Philanthropy), Robert Burdenski (Director of Bob Burdenski Annual Giving), Yulia Selyukova (Head of Academic Marketing and Development at Project Office 5-100), Elena Chernyshkova (President and Chair of the Management Board of the Charity Fund “System”), Oksana Oracheva (General Director of V. Potanin Fund, Chair of the Donor Forum),  Yuri Simachev (CEO of the Russian Scientific Fund), and other experts.

Most speakers agreed that Russian universities shouldn’t just rely on experience and know-how gained via experience garnered from foreign universities, but would be well-served also to consider employing some of Russia’s own traditions of philanthropy which were strongly developed in the country before the October Revolution.

The Project Office 5-100 working group for university fundraising used the event to stage a meeting. The attendees of the forum also received the opportunity to visit a display of the best fundraising projects implemented so far.

Photo: UrFU