Guide to Giving
Around the World  |  Fundraising

Chinese giving grows to $33 billion

Friday, 12th April 2019 at 3:33 pm
Luke Michael
The Chinese philanthropy sector has quadrupled in value over the last decade, according to a new report.

Friday, 12th April 2019
at 3:33 pm
Luke Michael



Chinese giving grows to $33 billion
Friday, 12th 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.

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


When the weather means more than record temperatures and sunscreen

Esther Abram

Monday, 19th August 2019 at 4:58 pm

Innovative uses of philanthropic funds to tackle complex social problems

Libby Ward-Christie

Monday, 19th August 2019 at 4:29 pm

My Story – Maria da Graca Guerreiro


Tuesday, 30th July 2019 at 7:00 am

Philanthropy and democracy – An Australian perspective

Krystian Seibert

Thursday, 25th July 2019 at 8:39 am


Disability groups call for better quality plans in NDIS review

Luke Michael

Monday, 12th August 2019 at 4:51 pm

Gillian Triggs to shine a light on Australia’s refugee treatment

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 12th August 2019 at 5:04 pm

Australians’ generosity a “mixed bag”

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 20th August 2019 at 8:23 am

ACNC takes action on charity linked to controversial animal farm

Luke Michael

Monday, 19th August 2019 at 5:24 pm

subscribe to careers
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!