Why China’s Culture of Philanthropy Has Yet to Take Hold

The 5.12.08 Sichuan earthquake that left 90,000+ Chinese dead was seen by many as a turning point in philanthropy.  It was an event that brought the country together in a way that I have not seen at any other time in my 12+ years here, and it was a time when the best of China showed through. Part of this experience (for me), was defined by the outpouring of support that spontaneously erupted. …

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Equivalency Versus Expediency

For many CSR managers, one of the more challenging (mind numbing) aspects of transacting an international donation can be the regulatory hurdles, and for U.S. firms there are two IRS channels whereby this can be accomplished: 1. Equivalency Determination: Involves gathering a significant amount of background information and documentation from the foreign charity, and then having a US Based law fi…

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Every NGO Should Learn to Communicate Like Operation Smile.

Without a doubt, the latest campaign from Operation Smile sets THE example for how NGOs can better communicate their cause, their role, and their impact. The campaign absolutely KILLS IT, and going forward this will be required viewing to learn for the NGOs/ Social enterprises I work with. "So innocent. So loved. So full of promise. So... what's the problem? Every 3 minutes, somew…

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Will Foundations Be More Effective in China?

Over the last 2-3 years, one of the more interesting developments in China's philanthropic landscape has been the explosion of foundations that have come onto the scene. Interesting because as the number of foundations, and the number of celebrities/ CEOs opening their own foundation, grew there was a general belief that this would improve the mechanisms for giving, transparency, and impact. Ho…

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Sometimes You Just Cannot Invest Anymore

One of the main concerns for many firms, and donors in general, over the last few years has been the ability to identify and scale up partners that will provide for the highest report on their program investments in China. In part, this is a result of the various scandals and difficulties many have faced when engaging China's GONGOs and NGOs, but it is also the result of a concern that is found…

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Nurturing a Credible Culture of Philanthropy in China

If there is one thing that the recent rash of scandals in China's charities proves, it is that China has a long way to go with developing a credible and robust culture of philanthropy. A few weeks back there were the pictures of a woman named Guo Meimei caught posing with luxury cars and accessories, while talking about her connection to China's Red Cross. Not the first time that the Red Cross…

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