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The Vladimir Potanin Foundation is Raising Its Support of Non-Profits Across Russia Amid the Growing Pandemic

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Press Release

updated: May 6, 2020 21:00 EDT

A recent RUB1bn personal contribution from Vladimir Potanin, one of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia, has enabled The Vladimir Potanin Foundation to double its grantmaking in 2020 to exceed RUB2bn (over $30 million). The proceeds are awarded as grants to support Russian NGOs and their efforts to counter the negative social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In spite of the unprecedented global coronavirus challenge, Potanin remains committed to making a difference in communities and addressing a looming negative social effect of the pandemic crisis. The foundation has launched three nation-wide grant competitions to help non-profits and their beneficiaries carry on through the times of global instability. Since it was formed, the Foundation named after its founder has established itself as a significant provider of philanthropic programs in Russia with a sound reputation across the world.

“We see the tremendous pressure that fell on non-profits especially hard. They are forced to quickly overhaul their operations while losing access to traditional fundraising tools. Through our support to NGOs, we contribute to the global effort to overcome the consequences of this crisis, so that the people who found themselves in difficult circumstances are not left alone. I am convinced that these extra resources will help NGOs not only to get through the crisis but in the long run as well,” said Vladimir Potanin, an influential Russian businessman and metal mining industry tycoon.      

Vladimir Potanin is the President and Chairman of the Management Board of MMC Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest metal mining companies. Potanin has made headlines recently by allocating $140 million to fight COVID-19 and its impact in the regions of Nornickel operations, a contribution that tops most of the single donations against the pandemic worldwide. 

Vladimir Potanin launched a number of initiatives to develop a culture of charitable giving in Russia, including a milestone one, on endowment funding. By fostering philanthropy infrastructure and endowment grantmaking, Potanin paved a way to establish the first endowment at MGIMO University, Potanin’s alma-mater in Moscow, followed by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and dozens of regional museums, universities and social organizations. 

Potanin is closely involved in community support and philanthropic initiatives. In 1999, he established The Vladimir Potanin Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in Russia, with a mandate for implementing socially significant long-term educational and cultural projects in Russia and strengthening the capacity of non-profits. In 2013, Vladimir Potanin became the first Russian industrialist to sign the Giving Pledge, an international philanthropic initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. This star-studded campaign is an effort to invite the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice.

Contact: Julia Grozovskaya, [email protected]

Source: The Vladimir Potanin Foundation