Chinese giving grows to $33 billion
12 April 2019 at 3:33 pm
The Chinese philanthropy sector has quadrupled in value over the last decade, according to a new report.
A landmark study found total giving in China had grown to US$23.4 billion (A$32.8 billion) in 2017, with registered foundations increasing by 17 per cent since 2009.
Published by the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, the report detailed the evolution and characteristics of Chinese giving, while highlighting the opportunities and challenges that philanthropists faced.
Naina Subberwal Batra, chairperson and CEO at AVPN, said the research unpacked key trends in Chinese philanthropy, and she noted there were untapped opportunities for strategic engagement with international groups.
“With the new regulatory environment and rapid growth of philanthropic capital in China, we see a need to marshal resources more effectively towards the delivery of scalable, high-impact solutions,” Batra said.
“The Philanthropy in China report not only seeks to carve new pathways for philanthropists to adopt more sophisticated social investing practices in China but also enhance our collective ability to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
The report said while Chinese philanthropy was still emerging, the sector had grown fourfold between 2009 and 2017.
While giving in China has traditionally focused on education, poverty alleviation and healthcare, under-funded areas such as youth development and environmental protection had also seen a growth in interest.
Foundations were also looking at more financially sustainable models to deliver impact at scale, with some foundations – such as Narada Foundation and Yifang Foundations – experimenting with new social investment tools.
The report said Chinese philanthropists were ahead of the curve in using cutting-edge technology and the digital services sector to spark greater public interest in charities.
Researchers noted these innovative approaches could build trust in the philanthropic sector by enhancing transparency and accountability.
The opportunity for the sector to further grow is highlighted by the fact China has 819 billionaires – the highest number in the world.
China also has the highest number of millionaires involved in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) related investing.
The report concluded that global collaboration was likely the key to China’s philanthropic legacy.
“Collaboration and partnership between Chinese and international philanthropists can unlock a new era of global philanthropy – not only elevating China’s philanthropic ecosystem, but also making it possible to solve the world’s greatest problems,” the report said.
Deepali Khanna, The Rockefeller Foundation’s managing director for Asia, said more than a century of experience in philanthropy had shown that transformative impact was partnership-driven.
“We look forward to working hand-in-hand with Chinese family offices and individual philanthropists, especially the next generation of givers, to unleash the catalytic potential of their philanthropic capital and build the foundations for new philanthropic legacies,” Khanna said.
The full report can be seen here.