CCA report reveals key data on charitable donations in China in 2019

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During the eight edition of the annual China Charity Conference, held in Shenzhen on 18 – 20 September, the China Charity Alliance (CCA) officially released its 2019 Report on Chinese Charitable Donations (2019年度中国慈善捐助报告). During the conference, the CCA’s Assistant Secretary-General and Director of Research Department Ma Tianhao gave a speech presenting the report.

The 2019 Report on Chinese Charitable Donations contains several statistics deserving of attention. For one thing, the report reveals that Chinese charities received donations from both domestic and foreign sources worth 170.144 billion RMB (25.4 billion US dollars). 150.944 billion RMB of money and goods were donated in the Mainland, an increase of 4.88% compared to last year’s statistics. In the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region the total sum was approximately 16.4 billion RMB, an increase of 2.5% compared to the previous year, while in the Macau Special Administrative Region the total was approximately 2.8 billion RMB, an increase of 12% compared to 2018 (there is no authoritative data on Taiwan yet).

In the year of 2019 the majority of donations were made in the form of cash. Cash donations reached a total of 104.449 billion RMB, an increase of 3.64% compared to the previous year. They thus constituted 69.2% of total donations. For both the past two years, cash donations have exceeded 100 billion RMB.

Donations of goods across the country also saw a rise in 2019, reaching a total of 46.495 billion RMB, accounting for 30.8% of total donations. Compared to last year, donations of goods in 2019 increased by 7.8%. Foundations and the system of Charity Federations (a network of state-backed federations mostly managed directly by the Civil Affairs Bureaus) at different levels received goods for a value of more than 15 billion RMB. Donated goods included medical supplies, food, beverages, books, electrical equipment, vehicles, construction material, disaster relief material and more. These have played a significant role in facilitating programmes focusing on poverty alleviation, medical care, education and disaster aid and relief.

Foundations across China received 67.714 billion RMB in donations of all kinds, an increase of 4.84% over the previous year. Donations received by non-public fundraising foundations have increased rapidly, whereas foundations that are eligible to organise public fundraising, which are less in number, also received a large amount of donations. By the end of 2019, the number of foundations in China had reached 7585, an increase of 7.83% compared to the previous year. They are often seen as the backbone of the philanthropy sector.

The donations received by the Charity Federations at all levels saw a slight decline in 2018, but the year of 2019 saw an increase of 3.75% compared to 2018. In particular, the central China Charity Federation received 8.919 billion RMB in total. Looking at the full picture, it is clear that the national system of Charity Federations has been vigorous in strengthening its internal management, finding creative fundraising methods, standardising its programme implementation and reinforcing its transparency. It is estimated that local Charity Federations received donations worth 30.917 billion RMB , an increase of 11.13% over last year. This indicates that there is still potential for further development.

Red Cross Societies across the country received donations worth 4.721 billion RMB, out of which donations from overseas accounted for 36 million. This is an increase of 19.86% compared to the previous year. In total, donations of cash totalled 3.321 billion, and donations in goods 1.4 billion RMB.

Most of the charitable donations in 2019 were invested in the following three key areas to improve social equality and living standard, especially in rural areas: education, poverty alleviation and medical care. Donations in these three areas were 109.155 billion RMB in total, accounting for 72.32% of total donations. Breaking it down, donations for education were about 44.02 billion RMB, an increase of 5.35% compared to the previous year; donations for poverty alleviation were 37.902 billion RMB, an increase of 6.55%; while donations in the medical and health sector saw a decrease by 7.45%, due to less donations of medical supplies and other materials.

The data also shows that enterprises are still the main source of charitable donations in China. In 2019, companies donated cash and goods worth 93.147 billion RMB to charitable organisations, an increase of 4.56% compared to 2018. Enterprises’ donations accounted for 61.71% of the total. Companies in the real estate, finance, food, technology and energy sectors made the most donations, demonstrating the close relationship between the Chinese economic structure and charitable donations.

Personal donations have also shown an encouraging growth momentum, with a total worth 39.845 billion RMB, 10.54% higher than last year. Personal donations include single large donations for over 100,000 RMB and small donations through bank accounts and Internet fundraising platforms. Regarding the Internet fundraising platforms, charitable organisations were able to obtain donations worth 5.4 billion RMB through them, an increase of 68% compared to last year. A good example of Internet fundraising is the annual “99 Charity Day” launched by Tencent. In 2019, the 99 Charity Day attracted more then 48 million people to make donations worth 1.78 billion RMB over three days, reflecting the power of online fundraising events and of “Internet plus charity” as a new growth point for charitable events.

The number of new Chinese charitable trusts increased by 37% in 2019 compared to 2018, reaching a total of 119. The total property scale of charitable trusts increased by 933 million RMB, an increase of 46.6% compared to 2018. The number and size of new charitable trusts with a scale of over one billion RMB was smaller this year than in 2018, but the overall development trend for small and medium-scale charitable trusts was positive.