Beijing Times – “Black horse” NGOs challenge those with govt backing

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“Black horse” NGOs challenge those with government backing

Beijing Times (京华时报), April 22, 2013

The public has made a statement with their choice of donation recipients for the latest Sichuan earthquake disaster relief efforts; a large percentage of donations have gone to organizations with private backing, rather than GONGOs. By 12 am on April 21st, the One Foundation, an organization established by Chinese kung fu star Jet Li, had received RMB 12 million in donations directed toward the Ya’an earthquake. Leaders of the organization expressed that this public support was a result of long-term and concerted efforts by the foundation to demonstrate its transparency and accountability, as well as their innovative use of a number of web platforms. Deng Guosheng from the Tsinghua University School of Public Management also pointed out that the abundance of donations would prove to be a major challenge for the organization, which reportedly had some issues in resource allocation during the major previous Sichuan earthquake in 2008.

Compared with the success of the One Foundation’s online fundraising efforts, the majority of the China Red Cross’s Weibo and Weixin posts following the earthquake received the comment “Get lost!” from readers. This will pose another sort of challenge for the organization, which has lost face in recent years due to scandals such as the Guo Meimei incident in which a relation of a China Red Cross official flaunted her wealth on Weibo. In response, Jet Li expressed support for the China Red Cross, emphasizing the crucial supportive role that the organization played in the development of the One Foundation. Others pointed out that other organizations may suffer from similar defects in terms of transparency and efficiency.

The article also mentions that other non-government organizations, such as the recently formed Weixin group Chengdu Public Interest Circle which is comprised of 13 Chinese NGOs, have received a significant amount of support from the public, effectively circulating news updates and other useful information.

Summary by Amanda Brown-Inz. See Article for full text. (Chinese)

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