Thank you for your interest in BEAM
(Business & Education as Mission), Inc.
BEAM, Inc., is a private foundation based in the United States that was established in November 2014 by the Board of Trustees of the “Russian-American Institute,” which had operated a college in Moscow before converting to a foundation. Its corporate name was changed to BEAM, Inc., in 2017 because the Trustees decided to expand its funding to include a larger part of the post-Communist world. Originally grants were targeted to educational programs in Russia and then in 2015 expanded to Ukraine. At the current time, grant applications for programs in other republics of the former Soviet Union are now eligible. The funds in BEAM’s foundation came from gifts donated to this ministry from Trustees and donors who generously supported its work in the former Soviet Union.
The beginning of this non-profit corporation goes back to the development of the Russian-American Christian University (RACU), which was registered with the U. S. government in 1995 and subsequently granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service in 1996. From its inception, RACU was developed as a bi-national educational institution, formed by a partnership of Russian and American educators and established in response to an invitation from the Russian government in October 1990 to found a faith-based liberal arts college in Moscow. In 2007, the school’s name was changed to the Russian-American Institute (RAI) in order to more clearly describe its mission as an undergraduate educational program that welcomed students from a wide range of Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic churches. For the story of RACU, see my book Opening the Red Door: The Inside Story of Russia’s First Christian Liberal Arts University (InterVarsity Academic Press, 2019).
Unfortunately the receptivity and cooperation of Russian government authorities in the 1990s gave way to increasing opposition and obstacles by the middle of the next decade. In November 2010 the Board of Trustees decided to suspend the Institute’s academic programs after Russian government policies were changed that made it difficult to continue legally. A substantial increase in taxation that resulted when tax-exemptions were removed for small private schools, and changes in re-accreditation standards that were impossible to meet for small schools when the Russian Ministry of Education refused to recognize doctoral degrees granted by American universities, were the principal reasons for the Board’s decision.
After careful deliberation, the Board of Trustees agreed that BEAM, Inc., would provide funding for programs developed by educators in Russia, Ukraine, and other former republics of the USSR. For more information about the grants administered by BEAM, Inc., see the BEAM Mission Statement and Funding Priorities.