Beijing foundations rank high in transparency index, report finds

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Beijing is now home to approximately 10 percent of all the foundations in China, ranking second in the country, according to a new China Foundation Center (CFC) report.

Based on the 6,829 annual reports for 2020 from foundations across the country collected so far, CFC will release a series of overview reports on domestic foundations in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The report on Beijing foundations is the first of the General Situation of Foundations Report series.

Among the 975 foundations in Beijing, 805 are local-level (equivalent to provincial level civil affairs department registration) foundations. The remaining 170 are national-level foundations registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs in Beijing. The Beijing-based foundations are mostly non-public foundations, with only 14.25 percent counted as public.

The 170 MCA-registered foundations in Beijing account for less than 2 percent of the total number of foundations nationwide but hold 25 percent of their total net assets, with average net assets of 330 million yuan ($48.6 million), which shows a significant capital advantage.

Most MCA-registered foundations are more transparent than other local foundations, as a result of the ministry’s tight regulations. The transparency of local-level foundations in Beijing ranks second in terms of the FTI (Foundation Transparency Index), lower than MCA registered foundations but much higher than local-level foundations in other provinces.

The number of foundations across China is now around 9,000, with over 90 percent established in 2004 or later. The average annual growth rate of the number of foundations since 2004 was 15.49 percent, while the average growth rate since 2016 was 9.33 percent, showing an overall trend of an initial surge from 2004 and a slow but steady growth from 2016.

Nearly 40 percent of the foundation projects are education-related, according to the report. Other main areas of interests include poverty alleviation, public services and medical assistance.