Pro Speak: Slow Going but Growing
She also took us to visit several nonprofit organizations in Moscow, including one called The Basement, a theater group serving children. The thing that was most interesting to me was that we went on a Sunday morning, and the place was full of kids. She said kids are too busy during the week and on Saturdays, so Sunday mornings are one of the few times the theater could offer programming. Interesting. How many American nonprofits would consider offering programs on a Sunday morning?
In October, it was just starting to get cold, and I found my favorite drink in Moscow to be the hot chocolate. It wasn't like anything I've ever had. Imagine a dark chocolate candy bar melted and infused with steaming milk. That was about it! It was awesome!
We were amazed at all the history in the city. We saw buildings that were built in the 1500s. It was awe-inspiring to imagine all the activities that had taken place in them.
So, what's different about fundraising in Russia than in the United States?
? First, there's a lingering expectation among many peo-?ple that the government should "take care of things." Now that the country is no longer under communist ?rule, some services are being taken over by private nonprofits. It's a slow cultural shift ?that makes fundraising ?difficult for many.
? Second, there's no tax incentive for people to give like we have in the United States. I know it's a small consideration for many donors here in America, but it does encourage some gifts. They don't have that benefit in Russia.
? Finally, there are few middle-class people to give. In Russia, there is a large and growing number of wealthy people due to the new capitalist opportunities. There's also a large number of poor in the country. Middle-class people, who are the bulk of donors in the United States, make up only a small percent of the population in Russia. So, Russia simply doesn't have the sheer number of donor prospects that we do.