Understanding Charity through the 2023 Annual Charity Gala

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The 2023 Annual Charity Gala, a collaborative effort between the China Philanthropist magazine and Weibo, took place in Beijing on January 8th.

A key highlight of the event was the Impactful Philanthropy Forum, organized by the Philanthropy Research Institute of the China Philanthropist (PRI). This forum delved into the intricacies of breaking barriers and fostering innovation in the philanthropic realm.

A pivotal moment during the gala was the presentation of the “Annual Impactful Philanthropy Award” to charitable organizations, including the China Development Research Foundation, Amity Foundation, Aiyou Charity Foundation, Jack Ma Foundation, and Tencent SSV Health Universal Lab.

These awards, meticulously evaluated by experts from the PRI, celebrated institutions that have not only made substantial contributions in terms of scale but have also demonstrated profound impact in addressing specific societal issues.

During the gala, Qiu Zhonghui, Chairman of the Amity Foundation, delivered a thought-provoking speech titled “The Essence of Impact Lies in Perseverance.” Qiu artfully compared the cultivation of philanthropic organizations’ influence to the growth of a tree.

He emphasized the significance of staying rooted in the organization’s initial aspirations and mission, a sentiment particularly echoed in Amity’s vision of enriching lives, promoting social justice, and contributing to a better world.

Evolving through Phases: Amity Foundation’s Journey

Reflecting on Amity’s nearly forty-year journey, Qiu highlighted the transformative phases that characterized its growth. From providing aid to the poor during its early years to undertaking comprehensive development projects in rural and urban areas, the Amity Foundation has evolved with the changing societal landscape.

Qiu accentuated the critical role of innovation in shaping project content, adapting to diverse regional demands, and ensuring relevance throughout the organization’s development.

Transformation of Resource Structures: A Necessity for Sustainability

Qiu’s narrative touched upon the evolution of resource structures within the Amity Foundation. Acknowledging the organization’s early reliance on overseas funding, Qiu expressed gratitude for the transformative role of online fundraising platforms, specifically citing Tencent’s public fundraising platform. The shift from 95% overseas funding to 95% domestic funding showcased the foundation’s adaptability and the vitality injected by innovative collaborations.

Internal and External Collaboration: A Symbiotic Approach

The emphasis on collaboration was a recurring theme in Qiu’s discourse. Internally, he highlighted the importance of transparency, recognition, and effective communication within the organization.

Externally, Qiu advocated for collaboration with diverse stakeholders, including the government, academia, media, businesses, and volunteer forces. This collaborative approach, both internal and external, is seen as crucial for navigating the complexities of the philanthropic landscape and fostering sustained impact.

Breaking Boundaries: Philanthropy as a Societal Endeavor

Qiu’s insights aligned seamlessly with the overarching theme of “Breaking Boundaries” discussed at the forum. He emphasized that philanthropy inherently transcends boundaries, involving the entire society. The philanthropic sector’s unique characteristic of being open to broad societal participation underscores the need for collaboration across various sectors.

Qiu urged the philanthropic community to resist self-imposed boundaries and recognize that philanthropy belongs to the larger society.

Building a Resilient Philanthropic Ecosystem

In conclusion, Qiu’s speech offered a compelling narrative of Amity Foundation’s growth and the broader lessons for the philanthropic sector. He emphasized the need for a symbiotic relationship between internal and external collaboration, innovation, and adherence to the organization’s initial aspirations.

The metaphor of a tree, firmly rooted and adaptable to changing conditions, serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience required for philanthropic organizations to weather challenges and foster lasting impact.

The 2023 Annual Charity Gala and the insights shared by Qiu Zhonghui underscored the dynamism of the philanthropic landscape in China. As the sector continues to evolve, these lessons provide valuable guidance for organizations seeking to navigate the complexities, break boundaries, and contribute meaningfully to societal progress.