Revealed: China’s top 10 charity highlights of 2021

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On Jan 17, Lingshan Charity Foundation held an online meeting to release the Charity Development Report – Top 10 Annual Charity Events in China 2021.

This is the 11th annual report released by the foundation since 2011. The organizer invited 100 experts from across the civil society sector, business representatives, media personnel and government officials to choose the Top 10 charity highlights by secret ballot.

The top event chosen was the response to the Henan floods by social organizations last July. The floods caused significant damage and killed hundreds of people, as well as destroying property worth 100 billion yuan ($15.78 billion).

Fortunately, the disaster also brought a nationwide boom in donations, with 4.73 billion yuan donated for flood relief projects by the end of August.

A large donation made by the shoemaker ERKE was another highlight selected. The company, rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy, decided to donate 50 million yuan to support flood relief projects in Henan. This decision led to a dramatic 100-million-yuan increase in sales for the firm, as consumers signaled their support for its philanthropy.

However, on July 23, netizens were surprised to discover that ERKE had only donated 200,000 bottles of mineral water according to publicly available information.

In response, Wu Rongzhao, chairman of the company, clarified that a donation agreement had been drawn up with relevant social organizations, and the donated materials had in fact only been partially distributed. He denied the shoemaker faced bankruptcy and promised to gradually fulfill its commitments.

In addition to the above two highlights, the volume of donations and amount of support provided to the charity sector by businesses, as well as relevant laws and regulations issued by several government agencies in China, also made it into the Top 10.

The Top 10 in full:

  1. Flood relief provided by social organizations in Henan and Shanxi provinces;
  2. Donations worth hundreds of billions of yuan by Tencent, Alibaba and other companies in response to the Common Prosperity Goal proposed by China’s central government;
  3. New rules issued by the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration of Taxation, and the Ministry of Civil Affairs confirming the pre-tax deduction qualifications for charitable donations;
  4. Academic seminar salons organized by universities and NGOs, along with their participation in the revision of China’s Charity Law;
  5. The success of China’s domestic poverty alleviation efforts, in which NGOs have played an important role;
  6. Participation by universities and research institutions in philanthropy education;
  7. The Ministry of Civil Affairs’ release of its Plan for the Development of Social Organizations during the 14th Five-Year Plan;
  8. The opinions issued by the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council on strengthening the modernization of the grassroots governance system and governance capacity;
  9. The boom in ERKE’s sales triggered by its donation;
  10. The guiding opinions issued by the State Council to social organizations to help them participate in the protection and assistance of vulnerable groups.