We are excited to announce the winner of the October 2015 Donation Give-Away drawing …and boy were we in for a surprise when the winner turned out to be from Moscow, Russia!!

Imanni Burg serves as the Executive Director and Development Director for MPC Social Services. Since 1991, MPC Social Services has supported poor and marginalized people in Moscow, Russia by providing:

  • Food assistance for elderly Russians, single-parent families, and interracial families
  • Free medical consultations for those who have difficulty accessing health care anywhere else in Moscow
  • Russian, French, and English classes for adults and children
  • A drop-in community center for African immigrants and refugees
  • A task force against racism that documents and tries to prevent racially motivated harassment and violence against people of color
  • Economic empowerment through a small urban farm

Each year, MPC assists over 1,200 of Moscow’s immigrants, refugees, low-income families, and seniors in need. The charity is an established nonprofit organization in both the US and Russia.

How will you use the $1,000 Tiffany’s gift card?

The $1,000 Tiffany’s gift card will be one of the highlighted auction items at MPC’s seventh annual Harvest Ball charity gala. Thanks to our generous sponsors, in-kind donors, and roughly 350 expat and Russian guests, the Harvest Ball raises about one-third of our annual budget for our charity programs in Moscow.

The Harvest Ball will be held on November 7, 2015. Ritz-Carlton Moscow has generously hosted the event for the past four years. Last year, MPC raised $88,000 at the Ball. 

The event features a silent auction, a live auction led by an auctioneer from Christie’s London, and a raffle. This year, we will have our first Special Appeal to fund an apartment for use as a temporary shelter while our clients are looking for permanent housing.

Most of MPC Social Services’ clients experience homelessness at some point, and many shelters, hostels, and apartment owners in Moscow do not accept African people. The Harvest Ball’s Special Appeal will allow MPC to provide emergency housing, which is one of the most acute needs of the people we serve and will make a big difference in their lives.


How did you hear about Winspire?

“Winspire is an amazing resource and I’ve learned a lot from their blog posts, downloadable resources, Twitter feed and auction Experiences.”

I heard about Winspire a few months ago while trying to teach myself about best practices for charity galas. Since this is only my second time organizing the Harvest Ball, I was researching online to make sure the event is as successful as possible. 

Winspire is an amazing resource and I’ve learned a lot from their blog posts, downloadable resources, Twitter feed and auction Experiences. In fact, I have sent several articles to my gala committee and colleagues.

The Harvest Ball has not used Winspire’s travel packages yet, but our gala committee is considering adding a Winspire Experience to the live auction this year. Especially at a time when many businesses in Russia are struggling and aren’t able to contribute in-kind items, consignment items can be a helpful addition to charity galas.

What is your biggest fundraising challenge?

All aspects of fundraising can be challenging for MPC Social Services, since the charity sector is fairly new in Russia. We rely on the generosity of private foundations, individuals, and corporate donors for our program funding.

Because of the economic and political situation at the moment, many individuals and companies have an uncertain future in Russia and have a difficult time committing to financial support. At the same time, food and medicine costs have risen dramatically, so we have more people who need our social safety net programs. However, we are always delighted by the enthusiasm and generosity of our Harvest Ball guests and donors. 

For the Harvest Ball, our biggest challenges are procuring quality auction items, event marketing, and acquiring new donors. I’m sure that Winspire can help nonprofits like ours address these issues.

More About MPC Social Services

MPC Social Services is one of the longest-serving charities in Moscow. We are one of the few places in the city where people of different ages, countries, and socioeconomic backgrounds work side by side to help each other. In 2014, we served 539 patients in 1,371 medical consultations; sold and donated over 2,000 pounds of organic vegetables to 891 people; and gave out 5,200 take-home food parcels to 120 low-income elderly Russians.


You too could win $1,000 in donated auction items for your next fundraising event! To enter, simply subscribe to Winspire News and you will be automatically entered into the quarterly drawing. For more information and to find out what we’re giving away this quarter, Click here.


Win $1,000 in Auction Items!

Subscribe to Winspire News for weekly event fundraising tips and you could win a $1,000 worth of donated items to use in your next charity auction!