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The number and value of million dollar donations identified in 2013 soared, with significant increases on the 2012 figures. However, this is in part the result of the inclusion of donations from corporations and corporate foundations for the first time.

The increase in the number and value of million dollar donations in 2013 is in part the result of the fact that 2012’s figures did not include corporate philanthropy, which accounted for 63 donations in 2013, totalling $381.83m. However, this is not the only factor as there was also a significant rise in the value of individual donations in 2013 compared to the previous year.

In addition, the increase in donations captured in this report may be due to more willingness among donors to be open about such gifts (although the total is influenced by one or two very large gifts). Still, given the lack of data and information publicly available about donations in Russia, it is likely that the number and scale of donations of one million dollars or more continues to be much higher than we report. 

The source and distribution of donations in 2013 continued to be concentrated in Moscow and the Central region of the country, although less intensely than in 2012. Strikingly, nine donations of one million dollars or more were made to organisations outside Russia, including the USA, Israel, Germany and the UK.

Foundations, human services and the government were the main recipients, with almost a quarter of the number of donations and a third of the value going to foundations. Religious and overseas organisations also featured heavily as destinations for mega-gifts.

Number and total

The inclusion of donations by corporations and corporate foundations swelled the number and overall value identified in 2013.



Total value of donations worth $1m+


Total number of $1m+ donations

Some 126 charitable donations worth a million dollars or more were identified  in Russia in 2013, with a total value of $1.01bn – a dramatic rise from 2012, when only 35 such donations were founded by the research, totalling $239m.

There were increases in both the number and value of million dollar donations from individuals and foundations. The rise in individual contributions was the most significant, ballooning from $214m in 2012 to $555m in 2013.

The rise in the overall total also resulted from the fact that data on corporations and corporate foundations was gathered for the first time. 

Average size of million dollar donations

The average size of million dollar donations rose in 2013, influenced by one or two very large gifts.

The average (mean) million dollar donation of $8m was larger in 2013 compared to 2012’s figure of $6.8m. The median (the middle value when all are placed in ascending order) was $2.7m, while the mode (the number that occurs most frequently) was $1m.




in 2013


in 2012



in 2013


in 2012



in 2013


in 2012

Value of million dollar donations

Three gifts of $100m or more were identified in 2013. One of these was a pledge for $100m for a healthcare programme. This donation will be phased over a number of years, meaning that the full benefit was not received in 2013.

Broken down, 44% of donations were worth $1-$2m, 37% were in the $2-$10m range and 19% were worth $10m or more.  


Source of million dollar donations

Individual donors gave over half the total value of million dollar donations in 2013.

Corporations gave exactly half the number of million dollar donations (63), but only 38% of their value. This situation was almost reversed in the case of individuals, who gave only 30% of the number of donations, but more than half (55%) of their total value. The least significant player  was the foundation sector, which made only 25 (20%) of million dollar gifts, comprising 7% of the total dollar value. This may be explained by the fact that foundations tend to spend their budgets over a longer period and therefore give smaller amounts within a single year.

In terms of frequency, most million dollar donors made only a single gift, but one foundation made 12 such donations, one individual made six and one company seven.[1]




7% of total value in 2013




55% of total value in 2013




38% of total value in 2013

[1] In contrast to the other regions in the report, Russia reported relatively few million dollar donations from corporate foundations – only two in 2013. Whilst in other regions such donations were classified under ‘corporations’, for Russia it was deemed more appropriate to classify these two particular donations under ‘foundations’, given that the sources of their funding were individuals and shareholders associated with the corporation rather than coming solely from the corporation itself. 

Location of million dollar donations

Around half of million dollar donations came from the Central region.

Almost half the million dollar donations were made by donors in the Central region (which includes, but is not restricted to, Moscow). These gifts also accounted for over half of the total value (53.4%). This regional concentration was evident among all donor types – corporate, foundation and individual – but was most marked among individual and foundation donations (15 of the 25 donations by foundations, for example, were made out of the Central region).

Corporate donations, the most numerous category, were more widely spread, with nine from the Far East, eight from the Volga and seven from the Siberian region. Corporations and their foundations are mostly based outside Moscow because they are oil, gas or steel companies, or working in other heavy industries, and they tend to support the regions they work in. 

Recipients of million dollar donations

Half of recipients were located in Moscow and the Central region.

As with the source of donations, the main concentration of beneficiary organisations was in the Central region, including Moscow (49%). By contrast, only nine Siberian organisations received million dollar donations, although these accounted for 15% of the total value. Of those, three donations given to Siberian organisations by individual donors were worth a total of $83m. Interestingly, nine donations were given to the USA, Israel, Germany and the UK, making ‘overseas’ the second largest category.

The majority of recipients (82) received a single million dollar donation, with four given four such gifts and 12 other organisations receiving two or three. 


total recipients

in 2013



51.5%  Central

9.2%  Siberian

7.7%  Overseas

7.1%  Far East

7.1%  All other regions

5.1%  Urals

3.1%  Volga

2%  Southern

1%  West

1%  North Caucuses

Distribution of million dollar donations

Foundations, government and human services attracted the highest number and share of million dollar donations.

The main beneficiaries were foundations (29 donations), government (25) and human services (24). Of those gifts given to government, 23 came from corporations – including one large donation of $100m for governmental causes – and one each from an individual and a foundation.

Overseas organisations received nine gifts and came fourth in terms of the total value of gifts. 

Higher education (11 donations) and culture (10) came next in line according to the total value given, although they received a slightly larger number of gifts than the overseas sub-sector.

The number of donations made to foundations means that the benefits of a significant amount of the gifted money this year are likely to be felt in years to come rather than immediately. Foundations tend to distribute gifts over time and can often spread these among a large number of smaller beneficiaries. 






126 donations of $1m+




29 donations of $1m+




25 donations of $1m+


Human services


24 donations of $1m+


Overseas [2]


9 donations of $1m+




6 donations of $1m+


Higher Education


11 donations of $1m+


Arts, Culture & Humanities


9 donations of $1m+




6 donations of $1m+


Education (not universities)


5 donations of $1m+


Public & societal benefit


1 donation of $1m+


International [3]


1 donation of $1m+


[2] ‘Overseas’ refers to organisations headquartered outside Russia.

[3] ‘International’ refers to organisations based in Russia that operate primarily outside the country.