The potential for charities and philanthropists to improve peoples quality of life extends to a whole range of social spheres, including education and the preservation of cultural heritage. With state mechanisms unable to keep up with the changes taking place in the world and in the employment market, charities and philanthropists are taking on the role of pioneers. How can charities, philanthropists, and the government combine their efforts? Is Russian society ready to play an active role in the charitable sector? How can charitable foundations be put to work systematically and effectively? What skills and personal qualities are important for young professionals who want to pursue a career in the non-profit sector?