Since (almost accidentally) starting Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens with Olivia Helling, I have fielded a lot of questions about how to make a direct donation to the Russian LGBT Network if you can’t read Russian. Up until now, my answer has been a probably-not-very-helpful, “Click the Russian flag at the top of the page and toggle it until it turns American.”
But thanks to the generosity of my readers, I made a $300 donation to the Russian LGBT Network yesterday. This enabled me to take screenshots of the entire process.
So here’s a little tutorial I call “How to Make a Donation to the Russian LGBT Network If You Can’t Read Russian (but Can Read English).”
You can download a PDF of these instructions at the end of this article.
And please make a donation. It takes less than five minutes to save lives.
Step 0: Contact your Credit Card Company (optional)
If your credit company has a tendency to block transactions outside your country, let them know that to you’re planning to make a transaction in Russia. You can also tell them the name of the payee will be RBK*lgbtnet.ru
Step One: Go to Russian LGBT Network’s home page
Here is the link to get to the English language version of Russian LGBT Network’s homepage. Clicking on “Make A Donation,” which appears just below the menu, will get you to their donation page.
If you accidentally end up on the Russian homepage, the “Make a Donation Link” is in the exact same spot, and the option to switch to English is in the upper right of the screen, just above the menu:
Step 2: Select the Donate Now button halfway down the donation page
Here’s a link to get to the English donation page. Below the Donate Now button, there is additional financial and banking information about the charity if you’re curious or you want to make a direct transfer by visiting your bank instead of via the web.
Step 3: Enter your information, but only if you want to
Fill this out if you want to get a thank you email from the Russian LGBT Network. Otherwise, just click Submit.
The next screen has no discernible purpose other than checking that you can click a button. Go ahead and click that button anyway.
Step 4: Enter the amount of your donation and the currency
There’s a field where you can enter the numerical amount of your donation. Below that is a menu that allows you to select from three currencies: rubles, euros, and US dollars. Then hit the Pay button.
Step 5: Welcome to RBK Money
Next you’ll find yourself on the RBK Money website. RBK Money is kind of like PayPal and is licensed by Russia’s central bank. The address at the top of your browser will begin with https://rbkmoney.ru/. The page will be in Russian:
There is a Russian flag in the top right corner of the page. To the right of the Russian flag is a downward-pointing arrow. Click on the arrow and you will get the option to select an American flag. Do that, and you will get the page in English:
Enter your email so that RBK Money can send your receipt once your transaction is complete. Then press the Continue button.
Step 6: Enter your credit card information
If you have used your credit card online before, this page should be pretty self-explanatory. RBK Money wants your credit card number, expiration date, and three-digit security code. Enter all that, check that the amount of money and currency is correct, and press continue. if for some reason this page switches to Russian, you can switch to English the same way you did on the previous page, by changing the flags through the menu at the top right of the screen.
(Aside: I have no idea what “Would you like to bind to the card?” means. They’re probably asking if you want the website to save your credit card information, but you’d need to ask somebody who didn’t drop out of Russian three weeks into their first semester.)
Step 7: Wait while the transaction gets processed
Step 8: Get a confirmation message
When processing is complete, RBK Money kicks you back to the Russian LGBT Network’s website. You will get a short message in both English and Russian telling you whether your transaction went through. The rest of the page is, however, in Russian, so if you want to continue browsing the site, just go to the top right again to switch languages.
Note: The first time I tried to donating to Russian LGBT Network, I got a message that my transaction did not go through. I fixed this with a quick call to my credit card company, which had blocked the transaction because it didn’t expect me to be doing business in Russia. You can prevent a rejected transaction by calling your credit card company first. That’s the reason I listed Step 0 at the beginning of all this.
Step 9: Get a confirmation email from RBK Money
Step 10: Get a confirmation email from Russian LGBT Network
The email says:
Hi dear, dear friend.
Thank you very much for your donation.
The team of the Russian LGBT Network is very grateful to you.
Russian LGBT Network
87 Ligovsky pr, office 509
St. Petersburg, 191040
And that’s it! Just five to ten minutes of your life to help someone who really needs it.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you’re on Tumblr, please reblog the Tumblr version of this post. And let me know in the comments section if you have any questions. If you end up sending a ton of money to the Russian LGBT Network, I won’t mind at all.
Interested in learning more ways to help? Check out Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens.
About Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the situation in Chechnya and the organizations helping sexual minorities in the Russian Caucasus here: FAQ on Russian LGBT Network and gays in Chechnya.
Learn how to help at Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens.