Volnoye Delo, a foundation supporting social innovation, was created by Oleg Deripaska in 2008. Today, it is one of the largest non-profit organisations in Russia involved in charity, patronage and volunteer projects. The foundation targets socially significant concerns, supports domestic education and sciences, and helps preserve the country’s cultural and historical heritage.
With support from Volnoye Delo, over 500 projects in 50 different regions of Russia were implemented; the projects’ beneficiaries include around 90,000 pupils, 4,000 teachers, 8,000 students from universities and vocational schools, 4,000 scientists, and over 1,200 educational, scientific, cultural, healthcare and sports institutions.
Robotics: STEM education and robotics competitions for students of 6-26 years old; about 70,000 participants in 77 regions of Russia; Europe’s biggest Robotics Festival PROFEST (until 2018 called RoboFest)
New Generation School: multidisciplinary school education concept focused on practical training and designed to identify and develop childrens’ skills at a very early age. The programme has attracted over 145,000 children and teenagers from all across Russia.
Supporting Moscow State University: providing grants and scholarships for students and professors of the Faculty of Physics and the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics; holding yearly competitions for the university’s young scientists. The contest reviews over 200 papers every year, awarding prizes for achieving specific scientific results.
Phanagoria: supporting an archeological exploration of the ancient Greek city conducted by the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2014, the foundation launched the Phanagoria Research and Cultural Centre.
Supporting culture: collaborating with the Moscow Art Theatre School to produce cultural events across Russia. These include stage performances, lectures and masterclasses as well as auditions for those who wish to get in to the Theatre School. Volnoe Delo and Theatre School have brought over 30 plays to Russian regions attended by 70,000 people.
Ust-Labinsk development: building infrastructure, supporting education, culture, healthcare and sports, encouraging volunteering and local entrepreneurship.
School for gifted children: building an educational facility for talented and highly motivated children in Ust-Labinsk. The school is scheduled to launch in 2020, special preparation classes will start in 2019.
Animal care: model shelters and care programs for stray dogs. The first PovoDog shelter was opened in Sochi in the run-up to the 22nd Winter Olympics. In 2018, the foundation opened another four shelters in Naro-Fominsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Abakan.
In 2014, Oleg Deripaska was named the Patron of the Year of Culture, an award given by the Russian Ministry of Culture for his contribution in preservation and development of historical and cultural heritage of the Kuban area. In 2013-2015, he was listed by Bloomberg’s as one of Russia’s biggest charity donators, and in 2013 he joined Forbes’ list of Russian patrons. In 2016, Vladimir Putin awarded Oleg Deripaska with a benefaction badge for his contribution in charity and public activities.
In 2015, the foundation joined Russia Today’s top 10 list of largest charity foundations in Russia. In 2016, it joined Forbes’ top 12 list of largest Russian charity foundations. In 2018, the foundation won the Best Social Projects in Southern Russia award for its Moscow Art Theatre School project in Kuban under the Support of Culture category.
Facts and Figures
10 years of charity in Russia
500 proJects on education, science, culture and territorial development
50 regions of Russia
The beneficiaries of the Foundation include
86 000 pupils
8 000 university and college students
1 000 veterans and pensioners
4 000 teachers
4 000 scientists
1 100 education, science, culture, health and sports organizations