June 28, 2010
China Philanthropy Update
· New philanthropy research institute created. Wang Zhenyao, the head of China’s first philanthropic research institute, is calling on all Chinese billionaires to donate a million yuan a year to charity. Wang says multimillionaires should give a hundred thousand yuan annually. For the past two decades, Wang worked in the Ministry of Civil Affairs. He is famous in China for his efforts to help victims during the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. He has also promoted care for orphans and asked the government for more money for the elderly. But Wang wants more than government support for China’s poor. He wants professional, sustainable, private philanthropy to grow. Now he has left the ministry to head the new Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute full-time. While Wang has long been a firm believer in the importance of charity, one of his subordinates says that makes him “a rather lonely person” in official circles, according to a 21st Century Business Herald article. Charity is an emerging field in China, a sign of economic growth and a response to rising inequality. Traditionally, financial assistance came either from the state or from extended family networks. The Chinese government has long spoken of “serving the people” and “serving society.” However, China lags behind Western countries in private donations. The Chinese Civil Affairs Development Report shows that the Ministry received 6.86 billion yuan (just above $1 billion) in donations in 2009, reports a recent China News article.
· The China Charity Donation Information Center in partnership with Shanghai NPO Development Center completed its report on Diaspora Giving to China 2008-2009 as part of APPC’s Diaspora Philanthropy Grants. The grants provided seed money for specific research activities that lead to making operational databases that will map out the dynamic relationships being cultivated from the giving end to the receiving end. These grants were awarded to organizations in China, Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh in July 2009 to conduct various database studies on Diaspora giving to home communities, as follow up work to APPC’s 2008 regional conference “Diaspora Giving: An Agent of Change in Asia Pacific Communities?”
Highlights of China Report on Diaspora Giving
· Between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2009, 24 provinces and municipalities in Mainland China received Diaspora giving valued at RMB 6.7 million from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese around the world.
· Sichuan province received the most donations due to the Earthquake and snow disaster in early 2008, receiving 37% of the total Diaspora giving to China.
· Second biggest receiver was Beijing, receiving 19.6% of diaspora monies. The city of Beijing houses majority of national charity organization headquarters, such as the China Red Cross Society and China Charity Federation.
· Individuals compose the largest composition of givers followed by overseas Chinese groups and organizations and overseas Chinese enterprises.
· Diaspora funds received in this period were allocated to disaster relief, education, science and sports, poverty alleviation and development.
· Seeing the response of overseas Chinese, provincial and municipal governments passed related overseas donation regulations, which provide policy support and guarantees to further enhance the overseas Chinese donations’ impact.
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