Stan­dard­iz­ing Phi­lan­thropy

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Liu Haile

Wang Ming. by Chen Jian

AChi­nese ex­pert in phi­lan­thropy re­search and pres­i­dent of In­sti­tute for Phi­lan­thropy at Ts­inghua Univer­sity, Wang Ming was a driv­ing force in draft­ing China’s first Char­ity Law from day one, earn­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of a cham­pion of the Char­ity Law. As a mem­ber of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC), he sub­mit­ted nearly 20 pro­pos­als to this year’s CPPCC an­nual ses­sion, 12 re­lated to the Char­ity Law. Re­cently, Wang sat down for an in­ter­view with China Pic­to­rial.

The Char­ity Law is China’s first fun­da­men­tal law con­cern­ing phi­lan­thropy. What are your feel­ings about it? What im­pact will it have on the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try’s char­i­ta­ble causes?

Wang: The Char­ity Law is a milestone be­cause it will bring China’s phi­lan­thropy and so­cial gov­er­nance to a new era.

First, the law de­fines the con­cept of “greater phi­lan­thropy,” which I be­lieve in­volves both pub­lic wel­fare and phil­an­thropic deeds. The con­cept is broader than the tra­di­tional un­der­stand­ing of phi­lan­thropy, namely, help­ing the poor. The con­cept it­self brings China’s phi­lan­thropy into a new era.

Sec­ond, the law is adopt­ing a new reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem. The Char­ity Law stan­dard­izes a uni­fied reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem for char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Third, the law sets up a char­ity ac­cred­i­ta­tion sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to which all char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions must un­dergo an au­then­ti­ca­tion au­dit per­formed by rel­e­vant reg­is­tra­tion author­i­ties.

Fourth, the law in­cludes an en­tire chap­ter on the su­per­vi­sion of char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions. It not only em­pha­sizes the gov­ern­ment’s su­per­vi­sory re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, but also en­cour­ages the pub­lic and the me­dia to join in su­per­vi­sion.

Fifth, the law es­tab­lishes a com­plete sys­tem on tax in­cen­tives for char­i­ta­ble ac­tions. Pre­vi­ously, the na­tion’s tax­a­tion poli­cies in this re­gard were frag­mented.

Sixth, the law makes clear that fi­nance should play a big­ger role in the de­vel­op­ment of phi­lan­thropy, and that fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions should be par­tic­i­pat­ing in char­ity.

Sev­enth, the law clar­i­fies is­sues con­cern­ing char­i­ta­ble trusts. China’s Trust Law does have stip­u­la­tions on char­i­ta­ble trusts, but they haven’t been im­ple­mented yet. The Char­ity Law makes char­i­ta­ble trusts a new driver of the na­tion’s phil­an­thropic de­vel­op­ment.

There are also stip­u­la­tions on how do­na­tions should be used and on the li­a­bil­ity of char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions in terms of in­for­ma­tion dis­clo­sure.

The en­act­ment of the Char­ity Law will not only pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of phil­an­thropic causes, but will also pro­mote com­pre­hen­sively deep­en­ing re­form, sys­tem re­con­struct­ing, and pub­lic aware­ness of char­ity.

Com­pared to gov­ern­men­tal char­i­ty­or­ga­ni­za­tions,wha­t­role do­pri­vate char­i­ty­or­ga­ni­za­tion­splay?what dif­fi­cul­tiesarethey fac­ing?

Wang: Over the decade since 2006, China has wit­nessed rapid de­vel­op­ment of char­i­ta­ble en­deav­ors, which can be largely at­trib­uted to wide par­tic­i­pa­tion from all seg­ments of so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, en­ter­prises and the mar­ket. They show great en­thu­si­asm for char­ity. Of course, a lack of rel­e­vant laws and reg­u­la­tions caused some prob­lems in the past, es­pe­cially while China wit­nessed so­cial trans­for­ma­tion.

The past shows why the na­tion needs a char­ity law. The pur­pose of the law is both to reg­u­late char­ity ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­mote the rapidly-grow­ing char­ity move­ment in China.

Cur­rently, “in­ter­net+” is a buzz­word in China. How can char­ity work with the in­ter­net?

Wang: This is an of­ten heard ques­tion these days. Many are al­ready work­ing on it by launch­ing in­ter­net-based char­ity cam­paigns, such as “Free Lunch” to pro­vide meals for stu­dents in poverty-stricken ar­eas and “Mi­cro-char­ity” that aims to in­cor­po­rate so­cial net­work­ing ap­pli­ca­tions with char­ity. Thanks to big data tech­nol­ogy, China has seen the birth of phil­an­thropic in­for­ma­tion plat­forms like the China Foun­da­tion Cen­ter. How­ever, new ques­tions have emerged, such as how to su­per­vise those plat­forms and how to con­nect older su­per­vi­sion sys­tems to big data plat­forms.

In a broad sense, phi­lan­thropy is meant to ben­e­fit oth­ers. In the mo­bile in­ter­net era, phi­lan­thropy is no longer some­thing con­fined to spe­cific in­di­vid­u­als, or­ga­ni­za­tions or pro­fes­sion­als, but some­thing ev­ery­one can be a part of. Phi­lan­thropy in the in­ter­net era is char­ac­ter­ized by par­tic­i­pa­tion from ev­ery­one. Tech­ni­cally, phi­lan­thropy is about giv­ing, not shar­ing. As the con­cept of the shar­ing econ­omy is in­tro­duced to the field of char­ity, per­haps a new kind of phi­lan­thropy will emerge to en­able shar­ing with­out a change of own­er­ship. In the new in­for­ma­tion age, meth­ods to in­te­grate the con­cept of the shar­ing

econ­omy with char­ity are wor­thy of re­search.

We can­not ex­pect the Char­ity Law to solve ev­ery prob­lem, nor can we re­quire it to do so. Ac­tu­ally, the law isn’t for­mu­lated to elim­i­nate prob­lems, but rather to pro­vide guid­ance to solve them.

As a so­cial law, what role will the Char­ity Law play in pro­mot­ing so­cial man­age­ment and in­no­va­tion inchina?

Wang: There is a voice call­ing for in­te­gra­tion of the Char­ity Law and ef­forts to­wards com­pre­hen­sively deep­en­ing re­form. In my opin­ion, the law pro­vides plen­ti­ful space for China’s struc­tural re­form, pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tion in so­cial gov­er­nance and the for­ma­tion of new or­ga­ni­za­tions such as so­cial ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions. For­merly, such or­ga­ni­za­tions were known as pri­vate non-en­ter­prise in­sti­tu­tions. The Char­ity Law rec­og­nizes the con­cept of so­cial ser- vice or­ga­ni­za­tions. How­ever, this raises the ques­tion of how so­cial ser­vices should de­velop un­der the frame­work of the Char­ity Law. Some have doubts about how the gov­ern­ment will form ef­fec­tive con­sti­tu­tional space for so­cial ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions and how the groups will ef­fi­ciently al­lo­cate re­sources and de­vel­op­ment modes.

Es­pe­cially at the com­mu­nity level, the Char­ity Law en­ables in­no­va­tion in so­cial gov­er­nance, in­clud­ing com­mu­nity-level fundrais­ing, do­na­tion, and es­tab­lish­ing char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions. This will pro­vide an im­por­tant con­sti­tu­tional force for in­no­vat­ing so­cial gov­er­nance and re­struc­tur­ing and re­form­ing pre­vi­ous sys­tems.

The en­act­ment of the Char­ity Law will pro­vide enor­mous space for the de­vel­op­ment of phi­lan­thropy and in­no­va­tions in so­cial gov­er­nance in China. Along with the process, many new or­ga­ni­za­tional forms and modes will likely emerge.

De­cem­ber 10, 2015: Vol­un­teers from Guang­dong Branch of Global Pho­to­graphic Union, Mingde Ser­vice Team un­der Guang­dong Lions Clubs, and Guang­dong China Travel Ser­vice send do­na­tions to stu­dents in earth­quake-stricken house­holds in Lu­dian County, Yun­nan Pro

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