At the beginning of the meeting, the President recalled that the Presidential Grants Foundation started five years ago with 4 billion rubles whereas now it has a budget of 10 billion rubles. Vladimir Putin said it is particularly good that there are people who implement their ideas and plans in the social sphere. He emphasised that this was directly related to support for those that are waiting for help. This help arrives on time, and the funds received from the state are used efficiently.
Ilya Chukalin said the main thing is that the non-profit sector of the national economy has received unprecedented impetus for development over the last five years. Unique conditions were created for self-realisation among people in the sector that socially oriented NGOs serve.
The foundation received 110,000 initiatives and conducted an independent expert appraisal. As a result, 22,000 projects have received presidential grants for their implementation. These projects embrace many areas of social life. These 22,000 projects received a combined 45 billion rubles.
The goal to work with the regions, set by the President, was carried out. In many regions, the number of foundation-supported initiatives increased more than ten-fold.
Ilya Chukalin noted local history and support for the local historians that are engaged in this. He cited the expedition, “Respect for the ships of the Great Victory” by the Russian Geographical Society. With support from the Foundation, the expeditions have, over several years, found virtually all the ships and submarines that were destroyed or sunk in the Gulf of Finland during the Great Patriotic War.
Mr Chukalin reported that in 2017 the Foundation was the first development institution to carry out digitalisation. The applications are received and processed and all the procedures like signing contracts, monitoring, reporting and summing up the results are done electronically. The Foundation has a system for managing projects, which includes monitoring implementation progress through key control points. Vladimir Putin noted that this was particularly important considering the large number of projects.
As for summing up the results, Ilya Chukalin said that everything is subject to evaluation: the quality of implementing the projects, achieving the stated goals, and accessibility to information on support for a particular project, ways of getting support or taking part in providing assistance, that is, volunteering. Public and government agencies, experts and interested people can take part in this evaluation procedure.
Every year the 100 best projects are selected for grants, so 300 projects were awarded over three years. On the President’s instructions, those with the highest rating receive the status of performer of socially useful services following a simplified procedure, which gives them additional tax benefits and the opportunity to receive direct funding at the regional level to provide social services.
Responding to the President’s question, Ilya Chukalin told him about cooperation with the regions and co-financing of regional projects, noting that last year the Presidential Grants Foundation allocated 1.5 billion rubles that were used to support almost 4,000 projects. This year, the total was increased to 2 billion and will go to 78 regions.