Right Way to Do Charity Work

Right Way to Do Charity Work

Maria Berkemeier spoke at the Second EWF 

Cooperation in charity work was in focus of one of the open debates at the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. Maria Berkemeier, Communications and Social Development Director at Novard group of companies, took part in the discussion. She shared the experience of cooperation between business-oriented structures and other ones within the framework of realisation of socially significant projects. 

Ms. Berkemeier believes that people and organisations should identify their mission before starting charity work. Novard sees its mission in promoting such values as mercy, kindness, beauty, patriotism, faith, etc. When an organisation identifies its mission, it should understand that charity work is not a competition but a cooperation of social, governmental, and business structures. 

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A state is, in the first turn, a source of institutional support. Business can be useful to it thanks to tools and expertise that it can provide. It can be also useful to NPOs with its project ideas and clear understanding of problems. 

Maria shares that as an entrepreneur she often meets representatives of non-profit organisations who propose investing money in their socially significant projects. According to the speaker, this approach is not quite right. She teaches such visitors to formulate their proposal as follows: “Do you want to take part in a strategic direction of work, which is important for Russia? We have the right project for you”. However, Maria stresses that NPOs must get an insight into the company and understand what mission and values it has before coming to it with such a proposal. 

The speaker shared about the tools that Novard provides to NPOs. Nonprofit endowment funds are among the most effective tools. Novard jointly with Sberbank Private Banking is developing one of such funds based on Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists and Benefactors Museum. 

Ms. Berkemeier paid special attention to the topic of public-private partnership in her speech. She spoke about how Novard jointly with the Moscow government had built the Gymnasium named after Platon Levshin. Maria believes that it is necessary for business-oriented structures to cooperate with public organisations and government when doing charity work. “My father says that all problems come from the wrong way of building communication. Learn to communicate, be open, transparent, and active. Don’t be afraid. Together we will cope with everything”, finished Maria Berkemeier. 

Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov