Beijing New Sunshine Charity Foundation: from “Non-Public” to “Public”

China Development Brief 2013 (Winter)

中文 English

 

On October 30, 2013, Beijing New Sunshine Charity Foundation (北京新阳光慈善基金会) – the private foundation that started as a campus club – once again welcomed an upgrade in its status. This time it was from “non-public fundraising foundation” (非公募基金会) to “public fundraising foundation” (公募基金会). However, New Sunshine is not an “old-school” public foundation with deep political ties. After the One Foundation (壹基金) and the Yongyuan Foundation (永源基金会), New Sunshine is considered China’s third public foundation to grow from the grassroots level.

Two status changes in 11 years

New Sunshine was created in response to the unexpected arrival of an illness. In December 2001, a graduate student at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management named Liu Zhengchen was diagnosed with leukemia. While seeking treatment he encountered problems because the only bone marrow registry at the time was unsophisticated and inconvenient. In order to help both himself and other patients, he conceived of a bold idea while still hospitalized – to launch a “people’s bone marrow registry”.

Following the dictum of “from loving oneself to loving others” Zhengchen started by first mobilizing the “Sunshine 100,” a group of 100 classmates and friends who volunteered as bone marrow donors. Soon, the Sunshine 100 grew to be the Sunshine 1000. In June 2002, the Peking University Sunshine Volunteer Association (北大阳光志愿者协会) was officially established in Zhengchen’s dormitory. Later on, the association moved into a nine square meter corner office at Peking University, and hired its first full-time staff member. With that, New Sunshine began to stumble forward.

Yu Wenjie, a member of the foundation and one of its earliest supporters, recalls, “At the time, I heard there was a group of student volunteers at Peking University who wanted to become bone marrow donors, but they didn’t even have enough money to run a test to match blood types!” The cost of running a blood test for a bone marrow match was more than 400 RMB at that time. In order to support his dream, Zhengchen’s parents gave him 50,000 RMB to start the initial Sunshine 100, but the money quickly ran out. With this, Yu Wenjie started to contribute funds to pay for blood testing fees for these students. As a die-hard supporter, Yu Wenjie explained, he often introduced his friends, family, and work clients to New Sunshine to garner their support. Most recently, he participated in New Sunshine’s crowdfunding activity by shaving his head, embodying the effect of the disease’s treatment.

Liu Zhengchen recalled, “The 20,000 RMB donation Professor Zhang Weiying contributed was our first large donation.” Over the last 11 years, the committed support of noted economist Zhang Weiying has been an important force in New Sunshine’s development. As the honorary director general of New Sunshine, Zhang broke the teacher’s mold of “never showing interest in student affairs or pulling the strings for students.” Liu Zhengchen often entered Zhang Weiying’s Executive MBA (EMBA) class a few minutes before class ended to introduce New Sunshine and promote the fundraising campaign to Zhang’s students. This style is precisely what drew the Director of New Sunshine Yang Rongrong and other corporate figures to New Sunshine.

In an interview, Zhang Weiying explained his understanding of the non-profit sector and university education: “With regard to performing valuable social activities, there is a type that can become a business model. This type obtains money by providing a valuable service to society. But there are also other types of activity that mankind does such as art, philosophy, and charity. Though these types of activity hold value for mankind, they often do not become profitable. Zhengchen’s project follows the first type!” Zhang Weiying further explained, “I have many students, but I am most proud of Zhengchen! Peking University is the best in China, and so it should cultivate leaders from every industry and corner of society, and not just produce students who merely do research and become successful businessmen and earn a lot of money.”

Non-Public and Public

New Sunshine’s mission is to “battle leukemia,” which is an undertaking that involves the thousands and thousands of leukemia sufferers and their families across society. For this reason, the task also requires the highest degree of social mobilization. The mission and responsibility shouldered by New Sunshine requires it to always seek to break out of its identity so as to legally and more widely mobilize society and attract social resources.

According to fundraising parameters set forth in China’s Regulations on the Management of Foundations, charitable foundations are divided between public and non-public. Non-public foundations, like corporate foundations, overseas foundations, or family foundations, are primarily launched by a designated group with funding, and can only direct fundraising at a specific “small circle.” In contrast public foundations have public rights, and can solicit donations from unspecified groups in society, resulting in a higher level of public participation. These two types of foundations are not without merits and drawbacks. Some industry figures summarize this as “if you want to do public welfare work, and you have your own money to establish a foundation, this is called non-public; if you want to do good work but don’t have money, and you’re forced to solicit contributions and support from the people, this is called public.” Because public foundations are well-known and far-reaching, government-administered approval has always been very strict.

“We started as a campus organization, so in the beginning a lot of our activities, strictly-speaking, were ‘illegal’! For example, the charity sale of my autobiography “To Happiness” (至乐), or events such as the benefit concert we held on campus…” reflected Liu Zhengchen. Since China’s Regulations on the Management of Foundations were implemented in 2004, the government has been supportive of non-public foundations. The threshold for establishment was quite low, and the procedures for establishment were relatively simple. In order to achieve an independent status as quickly as possible, New Sunshine first applied as a non-public foundation. However as Liu Zhengchen says, “given the current system and policy environment what we always wanted was public fundraising status.”

Following the establishment of the One Foundation, China’s first non-governmental public foundation, and the Yongyuan Foundation, Beijing’s first non-governmental public foundation, the tightly closed gate of public funding seemingly loosened up. New Sunshine strove to upgrade their status. In 2012, three non-public foundations including New Sunshine applied to change their statuses to “public”, but all were rejected. There were two main reasons New Sunshine’s application was rejected: first, its funds in the previous year (2011) had not reached the required threshold of 10 million RMB; secondly, Beijing was not New Sunshine’s primary service locality.

The following year, 2012, New Sunshine focused its efforts on rectifying these two reasons for rejection. That year, New Sunshine raised more than 12 million RMB in funds. In addition, New Sunshine partnered with four Beijing hospitals to provide financial aid to patients, thereby meeting the requirement that its primary service area is Beijing. Furthermore during its “social organization assessment” in 2012, New Sunshine was rated a 5A foundation (only 5% of foundations are given the 5A rating). This “outstanding performance” was eventually affirmed by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and New Sunshine won its public status.

From campus club to non-public foundation to the public foundation of today, New Sunshine has therefore walked a long and winding road to finally receiving the public privileges it truly requires to effectively “battle leukemia.” At the news conference marking the significant breakthrough, honorary guest and Chairman of the Narada Foundation Xu Yongguang said “this is an industry trend!”

Contributors and contributions

As the first Beijing non-public foundation to transform into a public foundation, the status change not only signifies a shift in fundraising efforts, but also hands New Sunshine a challenging transition to tackle.

At the press conference marking the change in status, a reporter asked Liu Zhengchen his vision for fundraising in the next 5 years. Liu responded that he hopes to reach 50 to 100 million RMB. At the same event Xu Yongguang added: “I hope New Sunshine achieves this public investment and develops with public mobilization and crowdsourcing. Raising large amounts of money is not the only thing that is important. I hope that when New Sunshine assesses its performance it also thinks about how it enables more effective public participation. In my opinion the public participation rate should be prioritized over any funding targets.” Xu Yongguang explained that the number of public contributors to the One Foundation had already surpassed ten million. In America, individual donations have reached 82% and according to Xu once you’ve won over an individual, you’ve won over society.

Looking at the biggest challenges faced by public foundations from the operational perspective, in addition to having differing fundraising targets from non-public foundations, each year public foundations are required to spend 70% of the previous year’s total funds raised. Without a doubt, this puts a lot of pressure on public foundations. Moreover, public foundations first work then fundraise. The quality, effectiveness of publicity, ease of channels for fundraising, project design etc all influence public participation. In addition, the special characteristic of public participation is that even though the number of donors is high the contribution amounts are low. Managing small sum contributors is not easy! As one staff member from the One Foundation said, after the foundation received several hundred million donations for the Lushan earthquake appeal, the One Foundation had to recruit more than 100 volunteers to write and mail out receipts. This proved long and boring work for the volunteers and many of them left their positions early.

For these reasons, although China’s Regulations on the Management of Foundations strictly defines the fundraising targets for public and non-public foundations, as for fundraising sources, there exists a convergence between the two. In other words, public foundations fall behind non-public. Data shows that 39% of funding for Chinese public foundations comes from Chinese citizens while 49% comes from domestic organizations. Therefore organizational donations far surpass those of individuals. For non-public foundations, 32% of funding comes from Chinese citizens, while 51% comes from foreign organizations. On top of that, many public foundations also have some government funding and support. Some public foundations that don’t want or need to publicly fundraise are prone to “living like a rich man” by finding a few big companies to take care of their funding problems. Another problem comes when a public foundation is not recognized by the public when doing public fundraising. This keeps individuals from donating and again pushes some public foundations towards collecting non-public funds. Poverty alleviation foundations – often China’s most energetic foundations – can have more than 90% of their funds from big domestic companies and other organizations. Although in recent years these foundations have slowly increased public contributions, organizational donations still make up the majority of their support.

In fact even though many non-public foundations strive to achieve public status, many ignore the extra workload this brings including stricter supervision, more difficult work, and tougher management. As Liu Zhengchen recalls: “when applying for public status we came across someone in charge of a public foundation. He jokingly said ‘why are you applying? We all want to apply to go non-public!” New Sunshine is already feeling the pressure. The original development department had just two staff members. After changing status the department immediately recruited two more people. During his interview, one of the two new staff said he previously worked for a company. During the press conference, Liu Zhengchen recalled, “as soon as I heard that he was personally responsible for protecting more than 10,000 customers, my eyes lit up! I decided to hire him on the spot.”

Professional & business support

As the only Chinese foundation focused on leukemia, New Sunshine will continue to strive to “battle leukemia”. In the future, in addition to continuing to work to financially support patients, provide psychological counseling, mobilize society, and educate the public, New Sunshine will also continue to work under expanded business horizons.

As an individual, New Sunshine creator Liu Zhengchen suffers from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which was the first type of leukemia to be discovered and treated. After coming to understand the process through which CML was tackled, Liu was attracted by the clinical trial cooperative system. “China’s total number of leukemia sufferers is huge, so if we can introduce this kind of system, the space for doing clinical trials will be quite big, and under this kind of system, we can greatly enhance treatment services for patients, because the hospitals in cooperation groups will be treating patients based on the same treatment plans,” Liu Zhengchen explained. But, he later came to understand that some Chinese hospital units had once pushed for a clinical trial cooperative system, but did not continue. When asked why, one cooperative group hospital told him, “there is dedicated power in the cooperative, but when research results are published they become the accomplishment of the hospital, rather than the individual, so no one is motivated to continue participating.” With this, Liu Zhengchen called to mind ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’, a tool often used in the Chinese NGO realm. By introducing rules of order, New Sunshine came to protect the interests of small party participants.Furthermore, as a public interest organization fighting disease, in a country where the doctor-patient relationship continues to erode , China still needs medical social workers. New Sunshine actively pushed for medical social workers to participate in the treatment process, serving as an efficient communicator and middleman between patients and hospitals.

In its 2012 social organization assessment, New Sunshine was rated a 5A level foundation. On the China Foundation Center  transparency list it is consistently ranked highest. Building on its experience, New Sunshine was sponsored by the Capital Philanthropy Federation (首都慈善公益组织联合会) to develop a comprehensive quality-control and management system for China’s public welfare and charity organizations. New Sunshine put forward the seven most important qualities charitable organizations should possess: transparency, equality, compliance, traceability, service-provision focus, sustainability, safety, and risk management. These represent some of China’s first comprehensive quality-control and management standards for charitable organizations. New Sunshine also developed a set of scaling-up methods to give new charitable organizations a competitive advantage.

For New Sunshine, after completing it’s 11-year journey to cross into public fundraising, the future is bright.

 

新阳光的11年 草根慈善基金会“非公募”转身“公募”

 

禄晓红

 

2013年10月30日,以校园社团起步的非公募基金会——北京新阳光慈善基金会(以下简称“新阳光”)再次迎来身份“升级”,从“非公募基金会”转身为“公募基金会”。与众多拥有公募身份、有着深厚政府关系的老牌公募基金会不同,新阳光被视为继壹基金、永源基金会后第三家完全基于民间自发生长出的公募基金会。

 

11年&2次转身

新阳光的诞生来自于一场疾病的偶然降临,2001年12月,就读于北大光华管理学院研究生的刘正琛被诊断患有白血病,求医自救的过程中,受困于当时国内唯一一家骨髓库的落后与不便,为了自助也为了帮助其他患者,还在住院的他产萌生一个大胆的想法——创办民间骨髓库。

“用爱自己的心去爱别人”,从发动身边的100位同学、亲友做骨髓配型志愿者的“阳光100”行动开始,再到“阳光1000”……2002年6月北大阳光志愿者协会正式成立。从正琛的宿舍开始,后来有了北大偏于一隅的9平米办公室、第一个全职工作人员……新阳光开始了蹒跚起步。

 

最早的支持者之一,今天的基金会理事于文杰回忆“当时听说北大有一群学生想做骨髓捐赠的志愿者,但是连验血配型的钱都没有!”当时做一个骨髓配型的验血需要400多元人民币,正琛的父母为了支持他的想法给了他5万元开始了最初的“阳光100行动”,但是钱很快用完了,“于是,我就开始给这些学生们捐助验血的检测费!”于文杰说,作为新阳光的铁杆支持者,他不断地介绍自己的亲朋好友、公司客户来支持新阳光,发布会上刚冒出头发的光头是他最近参加新阳光的众筹活动——“闪光侠”的造型后遗症。

“张维迎老师捐赠的2万元是我们最初获得的最大捐赠额”,刘正琛回忆说,11年来著名经济学家张维迎的全力支持是新阳光发展的重要动力。作为新阳光的荣誉理事长,经济学家张维迎打破“从不过问学生业务、不为学生牵线”的原则,刘正琛经常出现在张维迎EMBA课堂临下课的几分钟,介绍新阳光进行募款游说。新阳光理事、棕榈泉的执行董事杨蓉蓉等企业人士正是以这样的方式走近了新阳光。

“对于社会有价值的活动,有一类可以成为商业模式,通过为社会提供有价值的服务获得巨大的财富。但是人类活动中还有一类,比如艺术、哲学、慈善等,对人类社会有巨大价值,但是无法形成可以盈利的商业模式。正琛的事业属于这一类!”,张维迎在接受采访时这样表达对非营利行业与大学教育的理解,“我的学生很多,但是我最为正琛感到骄傲!北大作为中国最好的大学,我们应该培养的人才应该是社会各行业各领域中的领导者,而不仅仅只是做研究和成为成功企业家赚很多钱的单一方向。”

非公募&公募

新阳光以“抗击白血病”为使命,这是涉及到社会上千千万万个白血病患者、家庭的事业,因此也需要最大程度进行社会动员,新阳光肩负的使命与责任要求它一直寻求身份的突破,以便能合法、更广泛地动员社会、吸纳社会资源。

我国的《基金会管理条例》根据募款权限对公益基金会做出了公募、非公募的划分。非公募基金会,类似于国外的企业基金会、家族基金会,主要由特定群体出资发起,只能在特定主体的“小圈子”内定向筹募善款;公募基金会则具有公募权,可以向社会不特定主体募款,有着更高的公众参与度。两种基金会并无优劣之分也有业界人士形象地总结为“想做公益,自己有钱成立基金会,这叫非公募;想做好事自己没钱,只好想找老百姓捐款支持就是公募”。 由于公募基金会公共性强、涉及面广,政府对公募基金会的审批管理一直非常严格。“民政部门也郁闷,他们以前批的公募基金会,谁的来头都比他们大,管不起、不敢管,他们也想真正批一些真正发挥作用的公募基金会。”参与发布会的嘉宾、公益行业奠基人徐永光说。

“我们以校园社团起步,早期很多活动和行为严格说都是’违法’的!比如,早期《至乐》(刘正琛自传)的校园义卖、校园演唱会义演……”刘正琛说。相比之下,《基金会管理条例》自2004年施行以来,政府对非公募基金会持鼓励态度,成立的门槛较低,手续也相对简单,为了尽早谋求一个独立身份,新阳光先申请了非公募资格。“受制于现有的制度和政策环境,其实我们一直需要的都是公募权!”

随着国内首个民间公募基金会壹基金的成立、北京地区首个民间公募基金会永源基金会成立,公募对民间紧闭的大门似乎有了松动的迹象。新阳光也一直在积极努力,寻求突破,2012年与桂馨等三家非公募基金会同时提出了非转公的申请,但同时被驳回,其中新阳光被驳回的理由主要有两点:一是上一年(2011年)的资金规模未达1000万,二是新阳光不是以北京为主要业务地区。

2012年新阳光针对这两个驳回理由展开了努力,2012年新阳光筹款规模超过了1200万,并与北京的4家医院展开合作对患者进行资助,达到了主要业务地区在北京的要求。并且在2012年的社会组织评估中,新阳光被评为了5A级基金会(5A基金会的比例仅为5%)。这些“优异表现”终于得到民政部门的肯定,新阳光获得公募身份。

从校园社团到非公募再到今天的公募,新阳光曲折地走到了最初的目的地,获得了“抗击白血病”一直需要的公募权、公众教育、公众参与的权利。对于这一突破的政策意义,出席发布会现场的嘉宾徐永光认为“这是一个行业趋势!”

捐赠人数&捐赠额

作为北京首家由非公募基金会转型的公募基金会,身份的变化不仅意味着筹款对象可面向公众转移,也意味着新阳光在未来面临着工作转型,充满了挑战。

在新阳光“非公募”转“公募”的发布会上,主持人问起新阳光基金会发起人、理事长刘正琛未来五年的筹款愿景,刘正琛回答希望是在“5千万到一个亿”,同台参与交流的嘉宾徐永光接过话题,“希望新阳光真正做到公募,把公众动员起来,把公募、众筹做起来!未来新阳光衡量工作成果时,不要只看多少年能达到一个亿,不仅要筹到更多的钱救助更多的患者,更要考虑一个公募基金会的核心:如何让公众有更多有效的参与?把捐赠人数(公众参与度)作为优先于募款金额的指标。”徐永光介绍说,目前国内做得做好的公募基金会壹基金现在的公众筹款人数已经超过了千万,在美国个人捐赠金额达到了82%,可以说赢得了个人就赢得了社会!

从操作上来讲公募基金会面临更大的挑战,公募基金会与非公募基金会除募款对象有别,公募基金会每年须花掉上一年度筹款总额的70%,非公募基金会的公益事业支出,则不得低于上年基金余额的8%,这无疑带来了更大的工作压力。而且,公募算是先有事后找钱,项目设计的质量、传播效果、捐赠渠道顺畅、易得程度等都会影响公众的参与,而且公众参与的特点是人数多、额度少,对小额捐赠者的管理并不容易!曾有壹基金的工作人员谈及,芦山地震壹基金接到了几亿的捐赠,除了企业捐赠,就是大量的个人捐赠,每笔捐赠都需要填写收据寄出,地震捐款一来,一下子有两三万张捐赠发票要填写,壹基金召集了100多名志愿者来写收据。让人哭笑不得的是”这些热血沸腾的志愿者到了一看是这么海量的、枯燥无聊的工作,第二天呼啦啦全跑了!”

因为这些原因,我国的《基金会管理条例》虽然严格界定了公募与非公募基金会的筹款对象,但是从筹款来源上,仍然出现了公募与非公募趋同的现象,或者说是公募倒退回非公募的状态。有资料显示,我国公募基金会来自于境内自然人的收入是39%,来自于境内机构的是49%,也就是说机构捐赠远超过来自于个人的捐赠。而我国的非公募基金会,来自境内自然人32%,来自于境外机构51%。小额捐赠者难管理,再加上很多公募基金会都有点政府资源,所以它们越来越没有动力向公众筹款。公募基金会不想做或者说做不好对公众的宣传,更愿意“傍大款”找几个大企业解决资金的问题。如果广泛募集时,公众对它不认同就很费力,这些原因都导致我国出现公募基金会非公募化。扶贫基金会作为目前最活跃的、最优秀的公募基金会之一,从成立一直是企业的捐款占大头,机构捐款超过90%,这些年慢慢增加了公众捐款,并一直在向这个方向回归,2012年上半年公众筹款达到了30%。

如果说公募权资格是人人追求的玫瑰,那么公募基金会面临的更严格的监管、更大难度的操作、管理就是扎手的尖刺,拿在手里才知道不容易。刘正琛在交流中聊到”我们在申请公募身份时遇到一家公募基金会的负责人,他开玩笑说,你们还申请什么呀,我们都想申请非公募呢!”

面对公募转身之后的挑战,新阳光也倍感压力,原来发展部有2名员工,转为公募后发展部马上扩招了2人,其中一名在面试时介绍,以前是在商业公司做电话商务,“一听到他曾经一个人负责维护1000多名客户,我的眼睛都亮了!当即决定录用。”刘正琛在发布会上这样回应未来的工作调整。

 

专业& 行业支持

作为国内唯一一家围绕白血病展开工作的基金会,新阳光将继续以“抗击白血病”为使命,未来除了继续在白血病患者资助、心理辅导、动员社会、白血病公众教育方面展开工作,还将在更大的行业视野下进行工作。

新阳光的创办人刘正琛本身是一位慢粒白血病患者,而慢粒白血病是第一类被人类弄清病因并发明治疗药物可以医治的白血病。在了解慢粒白血病被人类攻克的过程后,他被这一突破背后的“多中心协作组”的临床研究合作机制吸引了。“中国总体的患病人数更多,如果能引入这种机制,做临床研究的空间会很大,而且在这种机制下,也可以大大提高患者得到医疗服务,因为协作组内的医院会基于同一治疗方案对患者进行治疗……”刘正琛介绍。但是,他后来也了解到,之前国内的一些医院的科室也曾推动“多中心协作组”的临床研究合作机制,但没有继续下去,问及原因,协作组中的一家医院告诉他,“合作中贡献了力量,但是研究成果发表时却成了主要牵头医院的成果,跟自己没关系了,所以就没有兴趣继续参与了。”由此刘正琛想到了NGO领域中常常使用的罗伯特议事规则,新阳光将以议事规则的引入来实现对小参与方的利益保护,从而避免重蹈覆辙。

此外,作为对抗疾病的公益组织,在国内医患关系日益恶化的今天,国内仍然鲜有医疗社会工作者的介入。新阳光将积极推动医疗社会工作者参与到医疗过程中,作为患者和医生之间的一个有效的沟通和缓冲中介。

2012年的社会组织评估中,新阳光被评为5A级基金会,在基金会中心网的透明榜上也一直位列第一。结合自身的经验,新阳光受首都慈善公益组织联合会委托,耗时一年研发了一套公益慈善组织全面质量管理体系,提出公益组织应当具备的七种最重要的素质:公开(透明)、公正、合规、可追溯、以服务对象为中心、持续改进、安全与风险管理。这是中国第一个将全面质量管理的理念应用于慈善公益组织的标准体系。新阳光还开发了一套量化的方法,希望能为公益组织建立起行业竞争优势。

……

对于经历11年漫长跋涉终于跻身公募大门的新阳光来说,未来刚刚开始。关于未来,新阳光还有很多打算。

Translated by Lauren Gloudeman

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