Nova Ukraine

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Nova Ukraine
FormationMarch 2014; 9 years ago (2014-03)
FoundersNick Bilogorskiy and Ostap Korkuna
TypeUS 501(c)(3) organization; charitable organization
Purposesupport Ukraine with humanitarian aid, strengthen the civil society in Ukraine, and promote Ukrainian culture
HeadquartersPalo Alto, California
Official languages
English, Ukrainian
Nick Bilogorskiy, Ostap Korkuna, Iryna Bilokin, Michael Simbirsky, Igor L. Markov, Rodion Yaryy, Larisa Nadukhovskaya, Serhiy Kishchenko
SubsidiariesNova Ukraine in Ukraine
AffiliationsAmerican Coalition for Ukraine
over 100 in the US

Nova Ukraine is a US-based 501(c)(3) organization (nonprofit) dedicated to supporting Ukraine with humanitarian aid and strengthening civil society in Ukraine.[1] Nova Ukraine prides itself as a predominantly volunteer organization with no budget allocated for director salaries. Since February 2022, Nova Ukraine has rapidly increased its humanitarian aid operations in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. By June 2023, Nova Ukraine volunteers delivered $77M worth of aid to Ukraine.[2]

The organization was founded in March, 2014 in the aftermath of Euromaidan as an extension of the Maidan SF movement.[3] The name - Nova Ukraine - translates as "New Ukraine". Registered in California as a 501(c)(3) organization (nonprofit), Nova Ukraine is focused on providing humanitarian aid, evacuation services, and supporting infrastructure on the ground. Nova Ukraine provides aid to vulnerable populations, including refugees, children, and wounded defenders undergoing medical treatment. Nova Ukraine delivers aid via partnerships with hospitals, local volunteer groups, state services and local authorities, Ukrainian producer and distributor companies.

Organizational structure and purpose[edit]

Nova Ukraine's Board of directors is currently co-chaired by co-founders Ostap Korkuna and Nick Bilogorskiy.[4] The organization operates through a large volunteer base that is culturally diverse and includes a variety of professional backgrounds.[5][6][7] Official business is conducted primarily in English, but Ukrainian language is also used.

Charitable and philanthropic goals[edit]

Nova Ukraine works to improve lives of the Ukrainians in need through healthcare, education and other essential aid. The nonprofit assists Ukraine in recovering from economic and social upheavals, and nourishes the civil society. It also promotes Ukrainian culture in the U.S. and helps vulnerable populations in Ukraine including refugees and internally displaced persons, children, and families impacted by war.

Nova Ukraine views itself as "a hub for humanitarian and educational support, serving as a charitable version of venture capital" in the sense that it selects impactful and effective initiatives, then provides them with funding and assistance necessary for success.[8] The selection process favors

  • initiatives that "foster resilience, hope, and self-sufficiency" for the people of Ukraine,
  • partnerships and projects that provide resources for "cultural growth and social mobility, as well as an environment to thrive in the future."
  • long-term objectives of "building a strong, flourishing nation with an empowered civil society."

Geographic structure[edit]

Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, the heart of Silicon Valley, Nova Ukraine originally aimed to leverage the region's technical and financial acumen to support Ukraine.[9] It then expanded to nearby metropolitan areas and states, including Southern California, Washington state, Nevada and Utah.[10] In February and March 2022, Nova Ukraine ramped up humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nova Ukraine operations expanded to New York state, Washington DC as well as Europe. A subsidiary office was established in Kyiv, Ukraine with reporting teams and warehouses in several Ukrainian cities.[11] During 2022, Nova Ukraine has provided the equivalent of $55.5 million in humanitarian aid to assist refugees and those on the ground in Ukraine with medical aid, food, and other essential supplies.[12]

Team structure[edit]

Nova Ukraine volunteers are organized into teams, including finance, medical, logistics, ground ops, refugee support, education and culture, fundraising and grant-writing, donor ops, human resources, Web site, social media, marketing and advertisement, animal welfare, as well as special-projects teams.[2] Individual teams are given budgets that they can allocate, while also being responsible for financial and media reports for individual projects.


Nova Ukraine organizes cultural events and street rallies in the San Francisco Bay Area, delivers humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and works closely with other nonprofits and volunteers focused on helping Ukraine.[13] In 2022, Nova Ukraine joined the American Coalition for Ukraine to participate in Ukraine advocacy initiatives.[14]


In 2014, Nova Ukraine collected and donated nearly $100,000 towards humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Since July 2014 Nova Ukraine supports Station Kharkiv, a volunteer initiative that provides aid to internally displaced people and hundreds of families from the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone.[15]

In August 2014 Nova Ukraine co-organized the performance of the Ukrainian band Skryabin in San Francisco. The band donated part of the concert's revenue to charitable projects carried out by Nova Ukraine.[16]

Another fundraiser held in September 2014 featured Ruslana, a Eurovision contest winner and Euromaidan revolution activist. The charity auction brought together over two hundred people, mostly Tech Gem 2014 conference attendees. The raised money was transferred to Ruslana's Ukrainian Sunrise Charitable Foundation for the needs of internally displaced people in Ukraine.[17][18]

In February 2014 Okean Elzy gave their jubilee concert called "OE - 20 Years Together". Organized by the joint initiative of two California-based nonprofit organizations, Nova Ukraine and "Save Lives Together", Okean Elzy concert donated all the profits from the ticket sales to buy medications for hospitals and to equip ambulances operating in the area of the military conflict in Ukraine. The necessary medical equipment worth $23,000 was bought and directly distributed in the most needed regions of Ukraine.[19][20][21][22]


Nova Ukraine started the multi-year Heart2heart program (no relation to Heart to Heart International), where volunteers in the San Francisco Bay area collect donations from ordinary people (mostly used clothes and canned food), sort them and package for transportation to Ukraine by sea.[23] In Ukraine, donations are delivered to local volunteers, who pass them to vulnerable populations: disadvantaged families, disabled people, children of fallen defenders, children in orphanages and hospitals, etc.

2018 and 2019[edit]

In 2018, the Heart2Heart program[23] delivered 80,000 pounds of humanitarian aid (donations from ordinary people) in Ukraine, spending a total of $41.5K for the project on warehousing and transportation.[23] In 2019, over 55,000 pounds of humanitarian aid was delivered to Ukraine, with a $54.5K spend. Each year, some 600 pounds of Christmas and New Year presents were delivered to children in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, Odesa, Lviv, Zakarpattia, Volyn oblasts as well as parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts remaining under control of the Kyiv government.


In 2020, Nova Ukraine, like other institutions around the world, focused its activities on countering the coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020, doctors were in urgent need of personal protective equipment such as medical masks, respirators, gloves and gowns to protect themselves from the disease, and Nova Ukraine organized a fundraiser and doubled the $6,000 raised to purchase them. In April, the amount of money raised reached $75,000, and the work did not stop there. [24] As of May 2020, a total of 4255 FPP2 respirators were purchased together with Patients of Ukraine to distribute to 14 Ukrainian hospitals in 8 regions of Ukraine: Ivano-Frankivsk, Poltava, Kyiv, Rivne, Ternopil, Chernivtsi, and Zakarpattia. 2,000 bio-costumes to protect doctors and nurses were purchased. In August of 2020, Nova Ukraine shifted focus on buying oxygen concentrators for frontline hospitals of Ukraine. Together with Patients of Ukraine they bought and distributed 17 oxygen concentrators to hospitals across Ukraine that needed them the most. [25]


In February 2022, Nova Ukraine started providing emergency aid to Ukrainians impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[26] During 2022, Nova Ukraine delivered over 1 million meals and 100,000 batches of supplies, recruited over 3,500 volunteers in Ukraine, and assisted over 1.25 million internally displaced persons and Ukrainian refugees worldwide.[2]

In March 2022, Nova Ukraine teamed up with the Ukrainian Student Association at Stanford, the Ukrainian Association of Washington State, and the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington that collected and packaged $3.5M worth of medical supplies and equipment donated by local hospitals. The cargo included bandages, sterile surgery kits, needles and syringes, IV tubes and kits, pediatric medicines, medical equipment, syringes, life-saving first aid kits, etc. Nova Ukraine chartered an Airbus A330 plane from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, WA that delivered 32 tons of cargo to Lublin, Poland.[27] The Ukrainian Honorary Consulate in Seattle, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office and the Port of Seattle also helped organize the effort.[28][29] This cargo was then driven to Ukraine on trucks and handed off to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.[30]

Nova Ukraine partnered with UNICEF USA for joint fundraising.[31]

Nova Ukraine quickly put together a refugee-support team that developed comprehensive resources for Ukrainian refugees[32] and helped many refugee families in the US, Mexico and Europe.[33] In the Spring of 2022, before Ukrainian refugees were allowed to fly to the US, a number of families flew to Mexico. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees entered the US before April 25 through a dedicated border crossing at San Ysidro,[34] after having stayed in "The Hub" --- a makeshift shelter in Tijuana located in a school gym and staffed by volunteers.[35] Other refugees had to apply for humanitarian parole in Mexico City and remain there while their applications were processed. Nova Ukraine volunteers helped in several ways: by supplying refugee camps in Tijuana and Mexico City, by meeting refugees on the San Diego side of the San Ysidro border crossing and providing them with clothing and temporary accommodations, by helping refugees apply for humanitarian parole, by sponsoring webinars with legal advice, and even by paying for tickets to the United States in exceptional cases.[36][37][38][39]


In June 2023, Nova Ukraine helped organize a performance by Jamala --- a Ukrainian Eurovision winner --- in San Francisco, CA, part of her "Like a Bird" tour.[40]

Transparency and media coverage[edit]

Leadership and organizational transparency[edit]

As part of Charity Navigator's review of Nova Ukraine, Co-chairman of the Board Ostap Korkuna answered a variety of questions about the operation and accomplishments of Nova Ukraine in two recorded interviews in 2022[41] and 2023.[42] As a result, Charity Navigator scored Nova Ukraine's leadership and flexibility at 100%.[43]

National Philanthropic Trust, one of the largest grant-making organizations in the US, profiled Nova Ukraine in March 2022.[1]

Fiscal transparency[edit]

Nova Ukraine regularly posts its financial and impact reports online,[44] where it discloses its budget by category and key statistics. In particular, its expense ratio (also known as overhead) has consistently been in low single percent, which is lower than for most US nonprofits.

Activities, partnerships and milestones[edit]

Nova Ukraine publishes an email newsletter and posts related content on its Web site. Important milestones are additionally highlighted by press releases.[12] Ongoing activities, partnerships and recent accomplishments are covered on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads and YouTube (see External Links below).

Media transparency[edit]

Nova Ukraine has garnered significant media coverage for its diverse range of activities and initiatives aimed at supporting Ukraine. This coverage helped raise awareness of the humanitarian challenges in Ukraine and inspired others to help.

West-coast media[edit]

In the San Francisco Bay Area, The Forum with Alexis Madrigal on NPR/KQED invited Nova Ukraine several times for a live discussion.[45][46] ABC7 News covered Nova Ukraine's support for US-bound refugees[34] and for evacuation efforts in Ukraine.[47]

In San Diego, The San Diego Union Tribune and Del Mar Times covered Nova Ukraine's support for refugees crossing in from Mexico.[37][36]

In Seattle, Seattle Times[29] and NBC Right Now[27] covered the Airbus A330 that Nova Ukraine chartered from the Seattle Tacoma Airport to Lublin, Poland in March 2022 to deliver 32 tons of medical supplies to Ukraine.

US national media[edit]

Live interviews with Fox News[48] and Bloomberg TV[49] at the outset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian media[edit]

Forbes Ukraine included Nova Ukraine in the list of top nonprofits providing aid to Ukraine.[50] In 2022, Voice of America Ukrainian produced and aired a TV program that covered the history of Nova Ukraine and interviewed Nova Ukraine directors.[51][52]

Global media coverage[edit]

Central News Agency (Taiwan) covered street rallies organized by Nova Ukraine in February 2022 and interviewed Nova Ukraine director Ostap Korkuna.[53]

CNN International aired two live interviews with Nova Ukraine director Igor Markov in May 2022 covering evacuations from Beseiged Mariupol[54] and overall operations in Ukraine, as well as reaching the $30M fundraising milestone.[55]

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat outlined how Nova Ukraine used technology to scale operations and fundraising, and published profiles of Nova Ukraine directors with photographs.[56]

Recognition and awards[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Razom – Ukrainian-American human rights organization
  • United24 – Ukrainian government-run money-raising platform
  • Come Back Alive – Ukrainian non-profit organization supporting the Ukrainian armed forces


  1. ^ a b "Nova Ukraine: Supporting Ukraine in Crisis and Beyond". National Philantropic Trust. March 30, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Nova Ukraine Home Page". Nova Ukraine. Retrieved 2023-06-16.
  3. ^ "Мы хотим, чтобы Силиконовая долина помогла привести Украину к процветанию". Slavic Sacramento. 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "Board of Directors". Nova Ukraine. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Volunteers". Nova Ukraine. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  6. ^ Elle, Jean (2014). "Bay Area Ukrainians Concerned With Russian Military's Move". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Gafni, Matthias (2014). "Bay Area Ukrainians, Russians speak out about turmoil". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  8. ^ "Nova Ukraine: About Us". Nova Ukraine. Retrieved September 3, 2023.
  9. ^ Лаврисюк, Юлия (2015). "Волонтеры "Nova Ukraine": Мы хотим, чтобы интеллектуалы Силиконовой долины помогли привести Украину к процветанию". Обозреватель. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Iyamba, Nkoyo (2015). "Utah Ukrainians hope new documentary brings awareness to crisis". Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "Team in Ukraine". Nova Ukraine. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
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  14. ^ "Home page". American Coalition for Ukraine. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
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  25. ^ "Nova Ukraine 2020 Report" (PDF).
  26. ^ "Delivering Emergency Aid to the Ukrainian refugees". Nova Ukraine. 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  27. ^ a b Seroka, Sigmund (Mar 29, 2022). "Non-profit group Nova Ukraine is sending a plane full of medical supplies from Seattle to Ukraine". NBC Right Now.
  28. ^ "$3.5M Donated Emergency Supplies Headed to Ukraine". Port of Seattle. Retrieved 2023-06-16.
  29. ^ a b Jeffries, Dylan (April 1, 2022). "Plane of medical supplies makes way from WA to Ukraine". Seattle Times.
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  31. ^ "NOVA Ukraine - UNICEF USA". UNICEF USA. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
  32. ^ "Refugee Portal". Nova Ukraine. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
  33. ^ "Helping Ukrainian Refugees in the US and Beyond". Nova Ukraine. April 24, 2022.
  34. ^ a b "Clock ticking down on Ukrainians seeking refuge at US-Mexico border". ABC7 News. April 25, 2022.
  35. ^ Jorge Duenes; Daina Beth Solomon; Kristina Cooke (April 1, 2022). "Camp of Ukrainians at the U.S.-Mexico border swells, as more refugees arrive". Reuters.
  36. ^ a b "Native Ukrainian leads shoe drive for Ukraine aid". Del Mar Times. May 6, 2022.
  37. ^ a b Kurime, Michael (January 12, 2023). "Someone San Diego Should Know: Viktoriya Miclean". The San Diego Union Tribune.
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  49. ^ "Director of Nova Ukraine Igor Markov discusses aid and resources for refugees (video)". Bloomberg TV. March 22, 2022.
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External links[edit]