Press Room

Russian NGO leaders announced as 2018 Vladimir Potanin Foundation Fellows

As announced earlier by Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and the Vladimir Potanin Foundation selected five Russian NGO leaders who will receive 2018 Vladimir Potanin Foundation Fellowships. Now in its second year of a three-year initiative, the Fellowships are awarded to professionals working in Russia on projects addressing social challenges, and provide a fully-funded place on the week-long Oxford Social Finance Programme.

The Fellows accepted for the highly competitive Vladimir Potanin Foundation Fellowship include:

  • Dzhanetta Akhilgova, President, Resource Center Development, Nazran
  • Snezhana Frantsuzova, non-profit marketer, Community Foundation Civil Unity, Penza
  • Natalya Kaminarskaya, Director, Nonforprofit center Blagosfera, Moscow
  • Olga Kazakova, Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, History Faculty, Altai State University, Barnaul
  • Denis Kudriavtsev, Program Director, INGO Doctors to Children, St. Petersburg.

The selection process was competitive, with applications for the Fellowship up 133% from 40 last year to 70, demonstrating a growing recognition of the programme and the development of the social finance sector in Russia. The 70 applications for this year’s Fellowships were received from organisations across the third sector including charities, foundations, and regional, national and international NGOs. 24% of applying organisations work in the area of promoting education, 56% in social sphere, 7% in culture, and 13% in other areas such as sports, health or social enterprises. 49% of applications were from Moscow, 24% from St Petersburg, and 27% from the regions.

Applicants were well qualified academically and have professional experience in the social sector. One of the key ambitions from the programme is to understand how to use a combination of funding models to secure the ongoing work of their organisation, and to develop this learning not only through the Oxford faculty, but also the range of CEO level industry experts presenting on the programme, and their global group of peers.

Oksana Oracheva, General Director of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation: ‘We are very pleased with the calibre of applicants and with the selection of these fellows, who represent well-established organizations working on the frontline of the third sector in Russia. It serves the mission of our Foundation to empower and bring together leaders of the NGO sector who strive to contribute to the further development of philanthropy in Russia and I hope that this exchange of ideas with global colleagues will benefit not only their organisations and deed, but will bring even more results in terms of the philanthropic community development.’

Alex Nicholls, Academic Director of the Oxford Social Finance Programme and Professor of Social Enterprise at Saïd Business School: ‘The recipients of last year’s Vladimir Potanin Foundation Fellowships came away from the programme inspired by the diverse group of peers from around the world, and more able to understand the global context of the social finance sector. They were looking forward to having immediate impact within their own organisations, to disseminate their knowledge more broadly and to introduce new financial instruments not yet available in Russia. We are delighted that the Vladimir Potanin Foundation has made it possible for us to award these Fellowships for the Oxford Social Finance Programme and drive social development and change in Russia.’

Gayle Peterson, Programme Director of the Social Finance Programme: ‘The Oxford Saïd Social Finance Programme helps participants develop innovative ways of addressing large social challenges, and to have the skills to access finance – whether through grants, venture philanthropy, or impact investing – to take these ideas to scale. Participants build a social finance strategy for their organisation with support from Oxford faculty, industry pioneers and peers from across the globe.’

Guest faculty on this year’s programme include: Phyllis Costanza, CEO UBS Optimus Foundation; Safeena Hussain, CEO Educate Girls; Bruce Lourie, CEO Ivey Foundation; Ellen Dorsey, CEO, Wallace Global Fund; Peter Drobac, Executive Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entreprenership; Nafez Dakkak, CEO Queen Rania Foundation; and Oksana Oracheva, General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation.  

The Fellows will join the next programme in Oxford on 5-9 November 2018.