Insights from the China Charity Fair


中文 English

Editor’s Note:

The Fifth China Charity Fair took place in Shenzhen at the end of September. It was a huge event, with over 2600 Chinese organizations taking part as well as 75 international ones. The fair also attracted some of the most important names in the country’s charity sector. This article from the Charity Times, which we have edited and abbreviated, presents some of the views and insights offered by the leading figures in Chinese philanthropy during the fair.


The Fifth China Charity Fair ended on the 25th of September. On the occasion, more than 230 representatives of international and Chinese social organisations were invited to participate in various sub-forums and discussions. The topics discussed included the Charity Law, fundraising, innovation in charity, charitable trusts, charitable investment, women’s charity and community foundations.

What opinions did they share, and what are their views on the development of the charity sector?

The Charity Law and social enterprises – Xu Yongguang, Chairman of the Narada Foundation

“The benign development of the Chinese charity sector depends on the improvement of the legal mechanism. China’s first ever charity law took effect in September. Much follow-up work is expected to be implemented, notably on taxation policies.

I just heard that the Laoniu Foundation had to pay 250 million yuan of corporate income tax and another 8 million as a fine for being late in their payments. This indicates that foundations are also being made to pay income tax on the income they make from charitable investments. Moreover, the Huamin Foundation reduced its funds to 50 million from 200 million, and Amway halved its original funds from 100 million to 50. The problem of foundations reducing their funds needs to be addressed. The charity law prescribes that charitable organisations can receive tax breaks on their income. Let’s make this come true”, said Xu Yongguang.

He also introduced three upcoming trends: social changes led by innovation on the internet, social enterprises’ movements and cross-sector development.

As he put it, “social enterprises at present need to break through a dilemma: the government is incapable of conducting charity well in spite of its supreme power and affluent funds; social organisations have a strong will to do charity well, but in the meantime are limited due to insufficient funds, power and capabilities; enterprises are rich in funds and resources but prioritising profits.” Therefore, the question is how to exploit and integrate the advantages of each one.

Many asked the chairman of the Narada Foundation what a social enterprise is and what are the differences with a normal enterprise. He gave an example of a successful social enterprise. The Lukang Hospital, which went from being a service institute to being a social enterprise after receiving new investment, provides care for elderly people suffering from disabilities and dementia. The hospital used to be a service institute between 2006 and 2013. By 2016, it had become ten times bigger and it was undertaking a growing number of government care services for the elderly.

The era of the charitable economy is approaching – Wang Zhenyao, dean of the China Global Philanthropy Institute

“The global economy is being tested by charity, as charity is already becoming a shared value for human civilization. China’s charity business is gradually being integrated into international charity. The charity law allows charitable organisations to increase their wealth through investment, which will contribute to the development of charitable finance.”

There will be a fair public judgement for Chen Guangbiao’s charity business –  Ma Weihua, president of the China Global Philanthropy Institute’s board

When asked about the controversial philanthropist Chen Guangbiao and his charity business, Ma Weihua said: “people can make donations in either a high profile or a low-key manner. The charity business is completely open to public opinion, so there will be a fair public judgement of Chen Guangbiao.” The Chinese Global Philanthropy Institute president also spoke about his attitude towards the charity law, expressing his opinion that the implementation of the tax reductions within the charity law will truly be carried out.

Three billion becoming five or six – He Qiaonu, the Qiaonu Foundation

“I started my new business, the Qiaonu Foundation, in 2015, and I promised to donate three billion in stock shares at the time. Nevertheless, I haven’t figured out a strategy for my foundation so far. I appreciate what Mr. Ma Weihua just said: charitable organisations have to be managed according to business management standards. Currently, I am trying to build up an eco-circle for all the environmentalists who want to protect our environment.”

Stricter qualifications for social enterprises – Dian Chunli, Secretary of the China Charity Fair

At the Fourth China Charity Fair last year, a first batch of seven social enterprises received their qualifications. This year, the number of companies recognised as social enterprises rose to sixteen. The secretary of the China Charity Fair claimed that the standards of qualification for this year are much stricter, stating that the enterprise had to have promoted employment, reduced poverty, and made a contribution to environmental protection. The enterprises are supposed to have been established for at least one year and employ more than three members of staff. Furthermore, at least 50% of the enterprise’ income has to be gained from the sale of its charitable services and products.

Dian Chunli also spoke about the Golden Award, which this year was given to a credit management company that provides less well-off people living in rural areas with loans. The company offered 150 loans, for a total of 16.7 billion, to people in 210 counties and 18 provinces”.

Charity is dependent on the government – Zheng Gongcheng, director of the China Social Insurance Association

“China’s charity business has entered a new era of cross-sectoral cooperation. On the one hand, it restricts the government’s actions in the public interest sphere. On the other hand, social organisations are not able to make a difference without government support. Therefore, a cooperative mechanism should be established between the government and social organisations so that both of them will benefit.”

Zheng added that the voluntary, non-governmental and open nature of the charitable sector should be respected. The ideal relations between social organisations and the government should be cooperative and not administrative; the fundamental conditions of China should be respected on account of the traditional virtue of benevolence in Chinese culture.

Capital management in a spirit of sharing – Lu Dezhi, director of the Human Foundation

“The countries attending the G20 summit reached several points of consensus. The core values can be summarised with two keywords: capital and sharing. As I see it, historically there have been three periods for capital operations: a great development before the 20th century; restrictions during the 20th century, especially the middle of the century, for instance through welfare state policies; and broad sharing in the 21st century. The sharing I refer to is not forced sharing but voluntary sharing, which requires more individuals to participate”, says Lu De. He emphasised that in future capital and sharing will represent the mainstays of human development, as well as the harmony between human society and nature.

The origin of the wealth gap – Liu Wenkui, Secretary of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation

The origin of the wealth gap, in Liu Wenkui’s opinion, is the modern capital mechanism based on the modern enterprise system, which separates management from ownership. This way capital only pursues the best resources and those who don’t own capital are left behind.

Taxation isn’t too useful for balancing the wealth gap. The charity sector has therefore been developing very rapidly, but the basic problem is still far from being resolved. There are still however high expectations towards charity enterprises being able to solve these problems. Liu Wenkui believes that there are three basic differences between charitable enterprises and normal ones:

  • Capital flow – social enterprises are an investment, so the added value they create constitutes public profit rather than private interest.
  • The scope of business – social enterprises have higher moral standards, and would not do anything harmful to society even if it is not legally forbidden.
  • The measure of success – the standard of social enterprises’ success is measured according to whether they solve social problems, and not according to the profit they make.

Stay determined when raising funds – Kang Xiaoguang, dean of the China Institute for Philanthropy and Social Innovation of Renmin University.

“On the one hand, fundraising training should be subject to China’s market demand and explore proper technical approaches; on the other hand, it should incorporate social values and cultural concepts. Currently a lot of foundations are making more and more use of terms from the business world during the process of fundraising, terms like “large donor” and “customer satisfaction”; at the same time, they are losing sight of the needs of those they are supposed to be helping. In future the real needs of the recipients should be stressed, and raising funds should not become the determinant of values and actions.”

We are also troubled by the crisis in trust – international philanthropists

In the wake of the progress Chinese philanthropy has made, an increasing number of people are requiring that the sector be more transparent. This phenomenon is however just as widespread in other countries.

Penelope Cagney, a representative of the Philanthropic Fundraisers Association (US), remarked that “we’ve found out that a wealth of donations is directly flowing to charitable trusts and funds instead of charitable organisations. This is now common in the United States. To illustrate, there is an American charitable organisation, specialising in providing assistance to those who were injured in war, that spends 17 to 20 million dollars per year on various kinds of conferences and administrative expenses but far less on assisting the injured, and this kind of thing provokes distrust from the public. It’s a problem we need to solve.”

The same sort of problems occur in the UK. Dominic Will, the joint manager of one of the biggest face-to-face fundraising companies, Home Fundraising, says frankly: “we are dedicated to cultivating a spirit of voluntary and continuous donation in the public. For instance, we persuade people to allocate a fixed proportion of money from their account to a charitable organisation every month. The spirit we are looking for has now taken shape, however some recent incidents, for instance the case of an elderly lady committing suicide after being harassed by people seeking donations, have reduced donors’ trust in charities as well exposing problems with the UK’s supervisory bodies.”


围观:慈展会上的那些观点2016-09-27 来源 :公益时报  作者 : 菅宇正 王会贤




南都公益基金会理事长 徐永光:







深圳国际公益学院院长 王振耀:

慈善经济时代正在来临 本届慈展会是社会化、专业化、国际化的展会。本届慈展会的主题是“以法兴善”,里的“法”就是我国的首部《慈善法》,里面将“慈善”定义为“大慈善”。在本届慈展会的重头戏——2016国际公益峰会上,联合国秘书长潘基文也发来视频致辞,呼应“大慈善”:“慈善是国家与人民之间表达团结与友谊的一种重要方式。慈善是我们可以对人类的共同未来做出的最佳投资之一。”


深圳国际公益学院董事会主席 马蔚华:




北京巧女公益基金会会长 何巧女:



深圳市中国慈展会发展中心秘书长 典春丽:




中国社会保障学会会长 郑功成:



华民慈善基金会理事长 卢德之:

以共享精神来治理资本 “十多天前在杭州召开的G20峰会,各国的首脑们对全球发展形成了许多共识,概括起来就是这两个关键词:资本、共享。”卢德之说道,“我认为资本的运行经历了三个阶段。20世纪以前应该说它是一个大发展的阶段;到20世纪特别是20世纪的中叶,那是对资本进行约束的阶段,比如说福利国家政策等等;进入了21世纪,应该提出治理资本阶段,既要有物理治理,也要有精神治理,特别是要有目标治理,这个目标治理就叫以共享来治理资本。如何共享呢?有两种方式,一个是强制共享,比如说税收制度、遗产税、高消费税等等,还有一种是自愿共享,那就是我们讲的慈善。让慈善作为共享的手段,作为共享的一种路径,它是人人参与、人人受益的过程。”


中国扶贫基金会秘书长 刘文奎:

贫富差距的根源 贫富差距的根源,在中国扶贫基金会秘书长刘文奎看来,在于现代企业制度为基础的现代资本机制。这一机制将资本的所有权和经营权分离,资本可以一直拥有最好的资源、人才、技术,而没有资本的人始终无法得到提升,最终造成富者更富、贫者更贫。






中国人民大学中国公益创新研究院院长 康晓光:







“我们发现越来越多的公众捐赠资金流向了慈善类基金或慈善信托,而不是直接捐赠给慈善组织,原因就是因为目前美国的公益机构在募捐款项的使用方式及后期信息反馈方面出现了很大的问题。比如在美国有一家专门从事为战争中受伤的人员提供帮助的公益机构,全年筹资后有1700万~2000万美元的资金用于各种会议和机构运作支出,与其用于受助者的资金近乎持平,这让很多公众无法接受。此类无法达到捐赠人预期以及信息反馈不够的问题,会导致公众对公益机构信任出现动摇,这是我们目前迫切需要解决的问题。”美国公益筹款人协会国际发展委员会主席Penelope Cagney说道。

而同样的问题在英国也存在,英国最大的面对面筹资公司HOME FUNDRAISING联席总经理Dominic Will坦言:“从电话筹资到面对面筹资,我们一直致力于培养公众形成一种自愿、主动、持续的捐赠意识,例如,固定每个月从其银行账户扣除一定资金捐赠给慈善组织。如今,公众意识已经形成,我们的筹款金额也不断增加,但与此同时,我们的筹款成本也不断攀升,而面对公众对资金使用的迫切需求,出现了断层。类似2015年一位老人因逼捐而自杀的事件,在凸显出英国监管部门存在问题的同时,也让公众对公益机构的信任因此受挫。”

Translated by 秦 天

No related content found.