New Report Explores the Potential of Philanthropy in China for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Sep 4, 2017

Beijing, 4 September – ‘Chinese philanthropic actors have the potential to transform the philanthropic sector and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, highlights a new report launched today by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and China Foundation Center (CFC).

The report, “Philanthropy for the SDGs in China”, was released during Beijing Charity Week and aims to mobilize Chinese philanthropic actors to realize the SDGs by linking philanthropic actions to the SDGs and showing their contributions to the development agenda through a Real-Time Knowledge Sharing Platform.

 “Development needs to be addressed through a multi-stakeholder approach. Not a single institution has the capability, funding, and ideas to achieve the SDGs individually” said Patrick Haverman, UNDP China Deputy Country Director. “Through this report we hope to encourage greater philanthropic engagement on the SDGs. Philanthropists have an important role to play in creating a better shared future, and UNDP hopes that they will be better able to contribute to the SDGs, taking on ever greater roles in shaping a better tomorrow.”

The report provides recommendations for an action plan for the further development of the Chinese philanthropic sector under the SDG framework and highlights that the Chinese philanthropic sector has great potential to promote the achievement of SDGs in China.

Alongside the report a SDG philanthropy platform was developed based on CFC’s core data and adopted a method that combines manual classification and machine learning by using the 17 SDGs as the classification standard. The platform presents the development of Chinese philanthropic sector and its contribution to SDGs comprehensively and provides support for decision-making regarding SDG-related projects by enabling foundations to search for relevant information and look for potential partners.

 “CFC believes in the importance of providing a standard of ethical conduct for foundations in China, as evidenced by our Foundation Transparency Index,” said TAO Ze, President of China Foundation Center. “This partnership goes one step further in creating transparency as well as efficiency by providing information about actors’ work and contribution to the SDGs.”

UNDP hopes to introduce the SDGs as a standardized international benchmark to evaluate and monitor the growth of the philanthropic sector both within China and abroad. Sustainable data-sharing and collaboration will help to normalize using the SDG agenda as a basis for communication amongst various stakeholders and will help encourage China’s philanthropic sector to become more aligned with the SDG agenda.

Through assessing the current SDG landscape of philanthropic actors in China, establishing a knowledge-sharing platform, and promoting the SDGS, the UNDP China and CFC partnership represents a first step in mobilizing and increasing the participation of Chinese philanthropic actors to realize the SDGs. Building on previous reports, these tools help address an information asymmetry that currently exists amongst various organizations, foundations, and donors within the country, allowing for more efficient and effective philanthropic engagement to occur. Moreover, this partnership will further promote the effective integration of sustainable development into the strategic plans of China’s charitable organizations and foundations, maximizing their contribution to achieving the SDGs.

UNDP supports the development of a thriving philanthropic sector in China, which can realize great benefits for sustainable development in China and abroad. In this vein, UNDP China published a report titled “Internet Philanthropy in China” in 2016 to introduce experiences in internet philanthropy in China, and to provide recommendations on methods to maintain fast-paced growth and on the potential to contribute to the SDGs. 

In the future, UNDP China will continue working with CFC to develop and improve the quality of the data and classification tools available on the real-time platform. In so doing, UNDP China hopes to engage more Chinese foundations and philanthropic organizations under the UN SDG framework. 

Contact information

Ms. ZHANG Wei, Chief Communications Officer, UNDP China Tel: +8610 8532 0715, Email:

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