Phoenix – Xu Yongguang: Foundations must collaborate with grassroots NGOs

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Xu Yongguang: This sector has no prospects if foundations do not collaborate with grassroots organizations

Phoenix Public Interest (凤凰公益), September 3, 2013

At the recent Foundation Transparency and China Foundation Center Three-Year Anniversary Forum, Xu Yongguang of the China Foundation Center urged foundations to collaborate with and support grassroots NGOs. Xu explained that social organizations comprise only a minute percentage of China’s GDP, significantly less than the proportion held by NGOs in other countries. Foundations on the other hand, although a small group, have begun to contribute more than half of the country’s charitable donations. The recipients of these donations, for the most part, are government and government-affiliated organizations: according to 2010 statistics, only 1.3 percent of donations go to social organizations beside the China Charity Federation, and even this 1.3 percent includes a number of government-supported organizations. With more than 300,000,000 registered social organizations, this represents a serious lack of support from foundations. Foundations can decide to identify as funding-based or activity-based, or as a combination of the two. Currently, China has a dearth of private foundations who, like the Narada Foundation and the Alashan SEE Foundation, choose to fund projects administered by other social organizations. Xu goes on to describe cases of public foundations, which generally have government backgrounds, supporting grassroots NGOs. These include the China Welfare Institute, the Shanghai United Foundation, the One Foundation, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children, the China Red Cross Foundation, the China Youth Foundation, and the China Women’s Development Foundation.

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

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