Mott Foundation to Stop Grantmaking in Russia

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which was included in a preliminary list of twelve nongovernmental organizations that could be banned from working in Russia, has announced that it will stop its grantmaking activities in that country.

The move follows a similar announcement by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which also was included in a "patriotic stop list" of organizations that could be labeled "undesirable" by the Russian government. The list, currently under consideration by the prosecutor-general and justice and foreign ministries, included seven U.S. institutions. Since the early 1990s, the Mott Foundation has awarded more than $25 million to Russian nonprofit organizations.

"We're watching developments closely, and we're confident that the review process will find no cause for concern," William S. White, chairman and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, said in a statement. "However, we have concluded that the best course of action is to discontinue our support to Russian organizations."

"Our grantmaking is grounded in one of our founder's core beliefs — that 'every person, always, is in a kind of informal partnership with his community'," the statement notes. "In Russia, this approach was highlighted by our support of a growing community school movement, which directly complemented Russia's own national education initiative. We also supported efforts to develop community foundations and other forms of philanthropy so there would be more local resources available for charitable activities that Russian citizens deemed to be important."

"Statement on Foundation’s Grantmaking in Russia." Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Press Release 07/24/2015.