Selling a Foundation’s Products through Marketing Promotion

中文 English

From the editor:

In the last few years, the rapidly changing Chinese philanthropic sector has attracted an increasing number of companies to establish charitable foundations and business professionals to join this “up and coming industry” with its open environment. Program officer Z, of the S foundation, comes from the IT industry. S foundation is a private foundation from Shanxi province with a business background, whose aim is to help the elderly and poor and carry out cultural work with a special focus on the youth’s education and development. From CDB’s interview with her, it is clear that business and the market are having a profound impact on the “traditional” Chinese philanthropic sector.

“Young people may have splendid ideas and capabilities, but they need enough money to feed their families”

CDB: Please introduce the academic background and job experience you had before joining S foundation.

Z: I had been working in the IT sector for about ten years when I moved to S foundation.

CDB: Why did you join S foundation? What was the process? What kind of influence did your former learning and work experiences have upon you?

Z: I joined S foundation by accident, because I thought it is active in a fabulous sector that can help many people. I used to work in business so I thought we should sell the foundation’s products by conducting marketing promotion, so as to allow more buyers to find out about our products, although this sounds a bit commercial. Our main goal was to get donors and volunteers involved in the activities so that both sides could establish an emotional connection with the foundation.

CDB: So what did you think of your salary in the foundation? And what did you think of its prospects?

Z: To tell you the truth, the salaries in this sector cannot be compared with other sectors. It is strictly regulated by the government, so plenty of talented people leave the sector because of the low salaries. It is a matter of practical consideration. Young people may have splendid ideas and capabilities, but they need enough money to feed their families. The work of foundations is very professional and requires us to learn constantly and overcome challenges. We put in as much time and energy as other professionals but get a lower pay. That is what needs to be improved in the future.

CDB: Do you have any problems or confusion regarding your personal career development? If so, what are they?

Z: I didn’t join the sector very long ago. But sometimes I feel that the policies cannot keep up with the industry’s development, so work may be restricted as a result. The charity sector has experienced much development these years but if people cannot see a future in it, it is natural that they will leave.

“I share a deep relationship with the children we have aided”

CDB: What’s your main work in S foundation? How is the project that you are in charge of going?

Z: My work is project implementation. The main project of our foundation is giving excellent but impoverished undergraduates not only financial aid but also some good company while they grow up. They may be the next generation to spread the love a few years down the line.

CDB: Have there been any impressive experiences or interesting stories after you joined the project department? Do you have any particular thoughts or feelings when interacting with different interest groups?

Z: You can make many related “products” if you really put an effort into the project. The products can make it convenient for people to participate at any time and guarantee that children have real respect for the activities. Good products sometimes come up during the work process. When a project works well, with many spin-off products and people interested in it, it is the right time to sell the products through market promotion. Though we respect the ideas of any related groups, we are not going to agree with the requirements brought up by groups with different interests when they contradict our notion.

CDB: What is the most successful thing you’ve done during your work in S foundation? What do you get out of the job except for your salary?

Z: After joining the foundation, I reconstructed the foundation’s management system and operational basis, which helped me to locate any information I needed instantly, just like the multi-function charts in EXCEL. Besides, I share a deep relationship with the children we have aided for many years with the foundation, which gives them a sense of belonging to it. The improvement in my coordination and management abilities brought about by cooperating with so many people has been my biggest gain from the foundation.

CDB: What difficulties did you encounter in your work? Did you overcome them successfully? If yes, how did you do so? If not, what do you think the solution would be?

Z: Team building is of vital importance. Sometimes we cannot coordinate the pace of our team members in project implementation. Some people work faster while others work slower. This is the problem we need to work on at the present stage.

CDB: Do you think that the project staff working on the frontline should have the right to get involved in making decisions about the projects of a foundation? If yes, how should this be done?

Z: Yes. Project staff is often familiar with the problems occurring in a project’s operation,and thus some mistakes can be avoided with their participation in decision-making.

CDB: What is the main obstacle that gets in the way of communication between project officers and decision makers? What kind of support needs to be provided?

Z: If when we are carrying out a project the person who offers the money doesn’t express his expectations clearly,then the ones who do the actual work cannot achieve the expected goal. The occurrence of new policies and other factors will affect the final result as well. So we need to enhance communication to reduce misunderstandings in this.

“Private foundations have developed very fast these years”

CDB: As a person specialised in the charity sector, have you had any communication with the project officers in other foundations regarding your profession? In your opinion, what efficient methods have been used to promote the ability of project officers in foundations in China? What needs to be improved? What’s your advice to the project officer in a foundation who has just set foot in the field?

Z: You need to learn the laws, regulations and policies regarding foundations. The sector doesn’t have a mature mode as a commercial sector,or a long development behind it, so I hope the government can offer more favorable policies. The related training provided by the government will be very helpful for the promotion of project officers’ ability in foundations.

CDB: What is your perspective for private foundations and the charity sector in China? What role is S foundation going to play in the development of charity?

Z: With more business people willing to assume their social responsibilities, private foundations have developed very fast these years. In the present stage, we hope that our work in foundations can continue to benefit more people in the long term.

CDB: What kind of capacity building and support do you think should be provided for the project officers by foundations?

Z: Though the charity sector differs from other industries, its project officers have the same demands as people in other sectors. It is required that project officers be specialized, professionalized and standardized in their work. So I hope the charity industry can provide project officers with capacity building focusing on these three aspects.

CDB: What vocational skill training did you receive in and outside of S foundation?Generally, are you satisfied with the effects of the trainings you received? Can you talk specifically about an impressive training session that proved to be very useful in your following work?

Z: As a freshman in the sector, I benefited a lot from the training courses offered by the Shanxi Provincial Civil Affairs Department. I got to know more about the origin, development, current policies and financial systems of foundations. We also learned through the case of a particular foundation’s project.

CDB: What form of study do you prefer to improve your abilities?

Z: I prefer courses on foundations’ policies and systems, as well as training on practical cases of project implementation.

以营销方式推广

【来自基金会的TA】基金会的“产品”需要以营销方式推广

2015-12-08 15:34:14 来源:中国发展简报作者:Z   点击数量:3072

编者的话S基金会是山西一家企业背景的非公募基金会,以助老、助困、助推文化为工作重点,尤其关注年轻人的教育、成长与发展。在“一线项目”接洽的受访者中,Z 是唯一一位要求以书面形式回答访谈问题的项目官员,其严谨务实、低调行事、信守承诺的作风令人印象深刻。“入行”时间不长的她在字里行间也透着这种作风:直截了当,简洁明快,能抓住问题的关键。

 

个人经历

 

简报:请介绍一下您在进入基金会工作之前的学术背景和职业背景?

Z:进入基金会之前从事IT行业,大概十年时间。

 

简报:您加入贵基金会的初衷和历程是怎样的?以前的学习和工作经验对这份工作有什么样的影响?

Z:因为偶然的机会加入基金会,感觉这是个“高大上”的行业,可以给予更多人帮助。以前算是经商,做事风格多少会有些商业化,但还是觉得应该用营销的方式,把基金会的“产品”营销出去,让更多希望“买到”产品的人,能找到这个“产品”,发现这个“产品”。这个过程,主要目的是让捐赠人或志愿者更好地参与活动,在情感上也真正与基金会建立起一个良好的连接。

 

简报:目前,您觉得在基金会工作的薪酬待遇怎么样?发展前景呢?

Z:老实说,基金会的薪酬与很多行业没法比的。基金会的行政费用国家是有规定的,要按规定办事,但这期间也会遇到一个问题,必然会有很多人才会因为薪酬问题流失掉。这个问题很现实。年轻人有想法、能做事,但也要有合适的酬劳以供养家庭。基金会是很专业的机构,我们一样需要用专业的知识来做事,也需要不停的学习和历练。我们付出的精力、时间和热情不比任何一类专业的工作人员少,但是在基金会的薪酬却受到限制,这是我个人认为有必要改进的部分。

 

简报:您在个人职业发展方面,是否存在困惑或问题?如果存在,主要是哪些困惑和问题呢?

Z:做基金会时间比较短,感觉有些国家政策跟不上基金会发展的速度,有时候感觉工作中会受限制。这几年公益行业发展迅速,但对于有计划又无法实现、无法操作的人来说,会因为这些原因,影响对行业的热情。如果看不到发展前景,人员流失也很自然。

 

工作经验/项目故事

 

简报:您在基金会的主要职责有哪些?您当前负责的(资助或运作)项目的情况是怎么样的?

Z:主要负责项目执行。基金会主要的项目是资助优秀的贫困大学生完成学业,金钱上的帮助只是其一,更重要的一点是陪伴这些孩子健康成长。在若干年的未来,他们会成为下一股力量,继续散播爱和力量。

 

简报:您在加入项目组之后有过哪些令您印象深刻的经历或者有意思的故事?在与不同利益相关方的交往过程中,您有哪些感受和想法?

Z:做一个项目,只要是真心投入,就可以设计出很多相关的“产品”,这样既方便希望参与活动的社会人员随时参与,也可以保证在活动中,孩子们能得到真正的尊重。好的“产品”有时会在做事的过程中冒出来,现有的项目做精了,会有很多周边的“产品”会出现,也会有相应的关注人群出现,这个时候我们的公益“产品”的营销时机就成熟了。我们尊重任何相关方的想法,但是基金会的理念不会因为利益相关方提出的要求而改变。

 

简报:您在基金会工作期间,您觉得自己做过最成功的事情是什么?您觉得除了赚钱之外这份工作给您带来什么?

Z:来基金会之后,重新建设基金会的管理体系和运作基础,就像EXCEL的万用表,需要什么资料都能很快定位;和多年资助的孩子们重新连结,使他们对基金会产生归属感。与更多的人合作,协调和掌控能力的提升是最大的收获。

 

简报:在项目运作的过程中,您遇到过哪些瓶颈和困难?最终是否顺利解决?如果已解决,是怎样解决的?如果没解决,您觉得应该怎样解决或者做的更好?

Z:团队建设是比较重要的问题。在项目运作中,不能步调统一,有的跑的快,有的跑的慢,这个是现阶段需要加强的部分。

 

基金会的治理与参与

 

简报:您认为基金会一线项目人员是否应该对本基金会的机构和项目的决策有参与权?如果是,应该如何参与?

Z:应该有。一线执行人员最能了解在操作当中遇到的问题,由于他们的参与,可以避免一些老旧问题重复发生的情况。

 

简报:您觉得当前妨碍项目官员与决策者之间有效沟通的主要障碍是什么?您认为在促进项目官员与决策者之间的沟通方面,需要加强哪些支持?

Z:在我们执行项目过程中,“出钱,出力,看结果”这几个方面都存在:“出钱的人”不能清晰表达自己的预期,“出力的人”必定做不出“预期的结果”,而且在执行过程当中,会有政策或其他现实因素出现,这些都会影响我们的“预期”。需要加强沟通,以减少工作中的误差。

 

对行业发展(包括行业内能力建设和培训)的看法

 

简报:作为一名专业公益人士,您与其他基金会的项目官员有过专业方面的交流与沟通吗?您认为在当前的中国公益圈,提高基金会项目官员的能力,已经有哪些切实有效的方法?还有哪些需要改进的地方?您对新加入公益界的基金会项目官员有什么建议?

Z:加入基金会,要先学习基金会的法律法规,了解国家对基金会的政策。基金会不同于商业领域,有成熟的模式可以效仿。基金会作为一个发展时间比较短的行业,需要经过更多的摸索,也希望相关部门能对基金会有相应的鼓励政策。政府相关的培训,对基金会人员能力和素质的提升有很大帮助。

 

简报:您对未来中国非公募基金会发展趋势有什么样的看法?您预期贵基金会将在其中扮演什么样的角色?对整个中国公益行业发展有什么样的预期?

Z:非公募基金会增长的速度比较快,有越来愈多的企业人愿意担负起社会责任,基金会的工作能“细水长流”,滋养到更多需要的人群,这是我们现阶段希望做到的。

 

简报:您认为公益行业应该为基金会项目官员提供哪些方面的能力建设和支持呢?

Z:虽然公益行业和其他行业性质有所不同,但相信,无论是哪一行,对项目官员的要求都是一样的:专业化、职业化、标准化。所以希望在公益行业中,能学习到公益行业领域里的专业化、职业化、标准化。

 

简报:您都参加过哪些基金会内外的相关职业技能培训?总体上,您对参加过的上述培训效果满意吗?能否讲讲令您印象深或在培训后证明培训内容在实际工作中非常有用的一次培训?

Z:参加过省民政厅组织的培训课程,对基金会起源、发展、现行政策、财务制度和个别基金会的项目案例有所了解,这对入行不久的我来说,受益匪浅。

 

简报:您更期待参与何种形式的学习(与什么样的人一起参与、由谁来培训)?

Z:有基金会政策、制度和实操案例的这类型培训。

 

 

关于作者:Z是S基金会项目官员。

 

 

Translated by Hou Changshan

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