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The results of surveys indicate that the number of citizens who want to be engaged in voluntary activities is increasing. 16 % of Russians consider themselves volunteers. According to 2013 surveys, only 3% of Russian citizens participated in volunteer activities. The most attractive areas in volunteer work are social and environmental areas. This is evidenced by the data presented in the Report on the Development of Volunteering, prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, with reference to the study of the potential for the development of volunteering in Russia, conducted in 2019 by the Public Opinion Foundation at the initiative of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Russian Patriotic Center and the Association of Volunteer Centers.
In 2019, the total number of citizens involved in voluntary activities by centers (communities, associations) supporting volunteerism based on non-profit organizations, state and municipal institutions, and educational organizations in Russia was about 7.5 million people.
According to the Federal State Statistics Service data, in 2019, the average number of volunteers involved in the activities of socially oriented non-profit organizations was more than 4 million people.
The plan for the implementation of the concept for the development of volunteerism in the Russian Federation until 2025, prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development, includes work on improving legislation in the field of attracting volunteer labor, summarizing best practices for attracting them to work in various industries.
The concept covers the development of volunteerism and combines various voluntary initiatives, including corporate volunteerism and pro bono (free professional) volunteerism as part of business social responsibility programs.
Also on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation dated July 19, 2019 the Ministry of Economic Development and interested Federal Executive authorities and organizations have developed an Action plan to promote volunteerism, SONPO's activities and charity.
The Action plan includes the formation of thematic content, increasing the transparency of the SONPO activities, voluntary associations, and social entrepreneurs, as well as developing their capacity to interact with the media, providing state information support to volunteer associations and SONPO, as well as measures to create and place the free (preferential) social advertising.
As part of the task of developing the volunteerism infrastructure, 72 resource centers have been created. In 2020, 80 regions of the country have identified regional resource centers for volunteerism, and 5 regions have appointed responsible persons for the creation of such centers (as of the end of 2019).
To assess the level of state support for volunteerism at the regional level of the Russian Federation, the Standard of support for volunteerism in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation helps. This document was developed by a wide group of experts and includes the main forms of state support: the adoption of regulations for interaction between regional government bodies with SONPO, volunteer organizations, organizers of volunteer activities; the appointment of a person responsible for the development of volunteerism in the region at a level not lower than the deputy head of the head of the subject of the Russian Federation; the creation of a Council for Volunteering; opening resource (volunteer) centers; providing subsidies and grants to volunteer organizations; provision of information support and popularization of volunteering; training of volunteers and officials; developing incentives for volunteers; assessment of the Standard implementation.
According to Deputy Minister of economic development Tatyana Ilyushnikova, " the Standard allows creating conditions for increasing the share of the region's population involved in volunteering; ensuring equal access for all ages to opportunities for volunteering, as well as combining the resources of businesses and non-profit organizations on the basis of volunteer centers. And, what is very important, to strengthen the confidence of citizens in the non-profit sector, as well as to provide SONPO with a human resource for development, to increase the effectiveness of organizing voluntary activities, " Tatyana Ilyushnikova added.
The work done in 2019 on the development of volunteerism in the Russian Federation is reflected in the events that have taken place in 2020, related to the period of fighting the new COVID-19 coronavirus infection. According to Tatyana Ilyushnikova, "the current situation has served as an impulse not only to involve even more citizens in volunteer activities, but also to develop intersectoral interaction, ensuring the participation of business, the state, SONPO and citizens in solving a common problem."
So, in the nationwide campaign of assistance to the population in a situation of coronavirus infection #Wearetogether (hereinafter – Campaign), in 85 regions of the Russian Federation about 119 thousand volunteers are involved, more than 3.5 million citizens get their help, more than 9 thousand offers of assistance from individuals and legal entities have been received. As a result of the Campaign, more than 3.2 million people received assistance.