Charity Event ‘Kind New Year’s Present’
Almost a million children with special needs and children from orphanages in Russia require special support and care. Only systematic and regular classes with specialists allow them to gain independence gradually, receive education and later train for a profession. Without this support, it will be difficult for them to get involved in the life of the society. Unfortunately, many of them have been waiting for such specialized help for years.
The ‘Kind New Year’s Present’ Program is aimed at ensuring that as many of these children as possible can work with professionals from nonprofit organizations and find opportunities for decent living standards in the future. The grant funding is created from donations made by concerned people from all over the country, and it has been traditionally doubled by Sberbank. The donations are distributed on a competitive basis to support effective nonprofit projects and practices related to socialization, adaptation and career guidance of children with special needs.
The funds are used for classes, such as preparation to kindergarten and school, children adaptation to independent life, correctional and developmental classes, mastering a profession, sports activities, creative rehabilitation, etc.
Projects are implemented in three stages:
1. CHARITY EVENT ‘KIND NEW YEAR’S PRESENT’
This fund-raising effort spans across Russia. Donors are ordinary people, customers and employees of Sberbank and businesses. Sberbank doubles the amount collected.
2. COMPETITION ‘KIND NEW YEAR’S PRESENT’
NPOs submit online applications for the grant competition. These applications are reviewed and winners are determined.
3. NPOS IMPLEMENT PROJECTS
The projects are focused on children’s social adaptation, creative rehabilitation, pedagogical and psychological support.
COVID-19 showed that NPOs are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic-triggered challenges: the volume of donations decreased, access to boarding schools and orphanages was closed. There is a threat that the projects of the grant recipients under the ‘Kind New Year’s Present’ Program will be suspended or cancelled altogether. Such consequences would lead to a rollback or loss of skills developed in children, because the result can only be achieved with continuous and regular training. Sberbank Charitable Foundation ‘Investment to the Future’ persistently helped NPO partners in order to maintain the sustainability of supported projects: promptly coordinated all the changes in project plans, event formats, budget redistribution and adoption of non-refundable costs due to objective circumstances.
Shifting of all competitive procedures of the ‘Kind New Year’s Present’ Program to a digital cloud platform was an important result of 2020. Processing applications from NPO participants, recording data, receiving reports and working with the rest of the document flow — all these operations used to be manual. This required considerable time and human resources. Digitalization has made program management much more efficient. A new online system made interaction between NPOs and experts of the competition more convenient and doubled the number of participants in the 2020-2021 competition.
Thanks to the online platform, we managed to: make the competition procedures more transparent; improve the efficiency of competition management; provide quick access to project data analytics; create the conditions for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of ongoing projects; introduce electronic document management; make it possible to invite experts from the Russian regional institutions; make the application procedure for a competition and reports by NPOs much easier and more convenient.