Crowd volunteering in Russia
Together is pioneering social-action crowdfunding in Russia: it aggregates money, time and other resources for coordinated pro-bono projects, with all information about each project published online in real time.
Russia, after so many decades of wholly state-delivered public services under communism, lacks the culture of philanthropy and collective action commonly seen in the West. Its social sector is weak, and it ranks 130th in CAF’s World Giving Index, with just 5% of Russians giving to charity.
Togeza (Together) is a welcome beacon of change within this landscape, calling itself a ‘charitable anarcho-syndicate’ to raise funds and direct other resources towards social change.
It grew out of the dirty.ru blog, which crowdfunded many of the online communities that sprang up to plug the gap in state provision in the wake of wildfires that swept through the country in 2010: groups provided the full spectrum of disaster relief, everything from shelter, food and medical supplies to volunteer fire-fighting units.
You can give anything: from vehicles or lift-shares, to clothing, or manpower. All donations to Together are itemised and listed, with funds coming from all over Russia to deliver a huge array of programmes, in scale and theme, from a rehabilitation and education complex in Kaluga to an equine therapy centre in Pskov. Volunteers on the ground monitor each project’s delivery, and all information, from fundraising targets and timeframe to what the money will fund and who the beneficiary is, is published online, so anyone can see what money has been gathered and exactly how it has been spent.
Image courtesy of Together
Last updated: 05th of September, 2014