Fifteen years ago, on May 12, the catastrophic 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan Earthquake struck Sichuan Province.
In the face of immense challenges, remarkable levels of support and disaster relief efforts were mobilized by various sectors, both in China and abroad. It was also the first time that public fundraising activities were approved for charitable foundations involved in relief operations.
Examining data from 2008 to 2021, this article showcases the foundations’ engagement in disaster-related projects and their financial contributions, emphasizing the importance of their role in emergency response, disaster mitigation, and reconstruction efforts.
Over the past 15 years, foundations and other charitable organizations have thrived and progressively participated in various stages of disaster governance.
During the period from 2008 to 2021, a total of 1,710 foundations engaged in disaster-related projects, accounting for approximately 18.5 percent of the total number of foundations registered during the same period (including canceled and revoked registrations).
By the end of 2021, among these foundations, 406 had the qualification for public fundraising, representing 18.5 percent of the total number of public fundraising foundations.
The remaining 1,304 foundations did not possess public fundraising qualifications, accounting for 19.5 percent of the total number of non-public fundraising foundations.
From 2014 to 2020, the number of foundations engaging in disaster-related projects remained relatively stable, ranging from 140 to 260 per year. However, during the same period, the total number of foundations in China surged from nearly 4,000 to 8,500.
In 2021, nearly 800 foundations across the country participated in disaster-related projects, accounting for 8.29 percent of the total number of foundations, the highest in nine years. However, it did not surpass the percentages observed in 2008 (15.23 percent), 2010 (15.97 percent), and 2013 (13.27 percent).
Out of the 220 foundations registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, 70 percent (155 foundations) have implemented projects related to disaster issues.
Among the 9,668 foundations registered at the provincial and lower administrative levels, including canceled and revoked registrations, 16 percent have carried out projects related to disaster issues.
As of the end of 2022, 1,826 foundations have incorporated disaster issues within their registered business scope, including keywords such as “disaster relief”, “disaster mitigation”, and “disaster”.
This accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total number of existing foundations, of which 137 have public fundraising qualifications.
Out of the foundations that have incorporated disaster issues within their registered scope of operations, 1,748 were established after 2008, accounting for one fifth of the total number of foundations established during the same period.