UNDP launches report on Internet Philanthropy in China

Nov 23, 2016

Nicholas Rosellini, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for China delivers remarks at ‘Philanthropy for SDGs – Internet Philanthropy in China’ Forum

Shanghai, 23 November - ‘Internet philanthropy has the potential to transform the philanthropic sector and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) was the key message highlighted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China at the launch of their new report today.

According to a recent Chinese government statistical report, the number of netizens in China reached 710 million in June 2016, with over 23 million users giving charitable gifts online. To provide a deeper analysis of the innovations that are transforming the philanthropic sector in China and the vast opportunities provided by the internet, UNDP China launched a new report, entitled ‘Internet Philanthropy in China’ to introduce the experience of internet philanthropy in China and provide recommendations on how to maintain its fast-paced growth and potential to contribute to the SDGs.

This is an exciting time for the development of internet philanthropy in China, with the new national Charity Law having come into force in September. The passage of the law marks a pivotal moment in the development of a legal framework for philanthropy in China and will be crucial to fully unleash the potential of Chinese philanthropy.

“The internet is revolutionising the whole economy and it is crucial for the future of philanthropy that we harness this new technology too,” said Nicholas Rosellini, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for China at the launch of the report. “At UNDP, we have a very positive outlook on the future of philanthropy, especially as it pertains to the SDGS and their implementation in China.”

The report presents current trends over the four systems of the philanthropy ‘ecosystem’: knowledge, giving, management and reporting, and evaluation, supplemented by data provided by Tencent.  

The report shows the internet giving system is growing fast. From 2014 to 2015, the number of online donors increased from 5 million to 23.8 million. The report also shows the case study of Tencent’s September 9th Campaign (also known as the “Internet Philanthropy Day”) this year, which mobilized nearly 6.8 million participants and 600 million RMB in just 3 days.

Internet philanthropy systems are also improving operation efficiency for charities for registration, fundraising, marketing, reporting, as well as encouraging information sharing between traditional organizations. For example, as of February 2015, the number of registered volunteers was over 100 million, the equivalent of 1 in every 13 people in China. They can now be managed and recruited through online volunteer platforms.

The report also forecasts future trends for internet philanthropy to be more transparent and accountable with innovative modes. In particular it points to “Internet +” and the new Charity Law, the growth of mobile internet usage, smart technologies, big data and the “we-media” era, as policies, infrastructure and new technology that have the ability to continue to transform internet philanthropy to become more innovative, targeted and efficient.

To create a more enabling environment for internet philanthropy in China, maintaining its fast-paced growth and large donor base, the report firstly recommends, due to the fact that the majority of internet donors are people born in the 1990s, the need to educate and promote a culture of online giving.

Secondly, it is essential that regulators, auditors and rating for online platforms be established to ensure transparency and efficiency. On the donor side, polices ought to be developed to incentivize corporate philanthropy.

The report was launched at the annual China Private Foundation Forum (CPFF) in Shanghai, along with a parallel forum hosted by UNDP China on ‘Philanthropy for SDGs – Internet Philanthropy in China’.

The UNDP believes that a thriving philanthropic sector in China will be of great benefit to China and to the rest of the world. Last year UNDP China published a report entitled ‘Unleashing the Potential of Philanthropy in China’, that carries out a review of the status of philanthropy in China.

Contact information

Ms. ZHANG Wei, Chief Communications Officer, and UNDP China Tel: +8610 8532 0715, Email: wei.zhang@undp.org

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