First urban philanthropy assessment system to be established in Shenzhen

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Fang Tao, a member of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and executive vice-president of the Shenzhen Charity Federation, presented a proposal to build a comprehensive system of supervision and scientific evaluation for philanthropic development in the city during the 4th session of the 6th Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPPCC. Fang Tao said that this is essential for starting a new era of quantitative assessment and professional management of philanthropy in the southern Chinese metropolis.

As a city made up almost entirely of immigrants, Shenzhen has prospered rapidly over the last decades. At the same time, it has been confronted with numerous social problems. According to Fang Tao, community foundations have become an innovative and effective solution to the city’s problems. Shenzhen was actually selected as the most kind and generous city three years in a row and was granted the highest title of ‘seven-star philanthropy city’, due to the average donations made by its citizens.

However, the development of charitable organisations remains uneven. Apart from a series of well-known organisations and influential projects, problems such as shortages of funds, unprofessional practitioners, unsustainable development, and lack of criteria, transparency, and efficiency in management still plague these organizations. The sector is unable to provide sufficient motivation for those who work in it and it has currently hit a bottleneck, making it hard for the local administration to formulate policies that will be conducive to standardisation and enhancing discipline in this area.

With the purpose of introducing government guidance into philanthropy and creating a friendly social atmosphere, the Shenzhen Charity Foundation has started to conduct inquiries and consultancies in the communities of Shenzhen’s ten municipal districts last August, under the direction of the Shenzhen Municipal Affairs Bureau. The foundation handed out questionnaires and hosted interviews and forums looking at six aspects, including donations, projects, organisations, policies, culture and volunteering.

Fang Tao’s proposal, “Setting up a philanthropy index and making Shenzhen a city of philanthropy”, also suggests another four steps to be taken following the setting up of the assessment system, in order to ensure that the system is an impartial and practical one, and leverage its use to bolster the sector. The four steps are forming a regular mechanism, which entails two assessments every year, building up a panel comprised of authoritative experts, which will underpin a valid and widely recognised system, opening up a philanthropy big data center in Shenzhen, founding a shared cooperative platform for charity in Shenzhen and generating an integrated and diverse administrative mode.

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