MOSCOW, Russia and MENLO PARK, Calif. – The Eurasia Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have announced the launch of a $400,000 partnership to promote strategic philanthropy in Russia.

The Social Investment Initiative will provide major Russian corporations and philanthropists with strategic and practical training in methods of charitable giving. The Social Investment Initiative will help Russian donors and would-be donors to shape and implement their philanthropy programs by defining their philanthropic goals, building accountable and transparent mechanisms of charitable giving, and developing their philanthropic missions and strategies. The program will consist of two social investment forums focused on information sharing and training for high net worth individuals and top level Russian executives, as well as internships and a series of four seminars focused on training for corporate social managers working at the operations level.

“This initiative is a solid first step in helping to extend the field of international philanthropy to Russia, where such investment is desperately needed, said Paul Brest, President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “The Hewlett Foundation firmly believes that in order to solve many of the world’s social and environmental problems, we will have to cultivate strategic and effective philanthropy within newly emerging democracies.”

In Washington, DC, Eurasia Foundation President Charles William Maynes underscored the significance of this project, which will involve many of the most influential corporate executives in Russia.  “We’ve already seen signs that Russian businesses are beginning to recognize the value a strong third sector brings to society.

SII is designed to rapidly accelerate this trend of Russian philanthropy, which over the past year has gained momentum. A significant number of domestic businesses and wealthy individuals have expressed their willingness to contribute, and, in many cases, are already contributing to resolving social problems facing their communities.

“In general, Russian companies and individuals are becoming both increasingly sophisticated and strategic in their contributions to society,” explained Eurasia Foundation Vice President for Russia, Andrei Kortunov. “However, most still lack a clear understanding of how to implement social investment programs in Russia.”

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1966 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in conflict resolution, education, environment, performing arts, population, and U.S.-Latin American Relations. In addition, the Foundation has initiatives supporting neighborhood improvement, philanthropy, and global affairs.

The Eurasia Foundation was founded in 1993 to support the development of democratic and market-oriented institutions throughout the former Soviet Union, and has made more than 7000 grants totaling $140 million to local governments, non-profit organizations, and individuals in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.  The Foundation is supported  by the U.S. Agency for International Development and by other U.S. and  international donors. In Russia, the Eurasia Foundation has offices in Moscow, Saratov, and Vladivostok.  Among the Foundation’s priorities are civil society, private enterprise development, education, and public administration and policy. Additional information is available on the website:

Eric Brown
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Elizabeth Buchanan
The Eurasia Foundation, Russia
+7 095-970-1567