Zhu Jiangang: community foundations are the promoters of a community agenda

公益时报

中文 English

1_b

“We need to be more active and view ourselves as a platform for cross-border cooperation, aiming at promoting communication and cooperation between all the interested parties. We also need to view ourselves as promoters of a community agenda, urging innovations in policies and speeding up cooperation among NGOs. These are the responsibilities that community foundations in China must shoulder.”

In December 2016, the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. More than 360 community foundations from 60 countries attended the summit. The Guangdong Harmony Foundation (GHF) was present as the representative of China’s community organizations. Zhu Jiangang, Vice President and Secretary-General of GHF and Executive Dean of the School of Philanthropy, Sun Yat-sen University, delivered a speech entitled Community Organizations in China.

Zhu has worked on promoting and supporting community organizations for more than 20 years. In his view, all the community organizations share one characteristic: they are small. Zhu thinks that “small” does not necessarily have a pejorative meaning. Smallness means flexibility, independence, vitality and ease of survival. However, smallness also carries negative impacts, like fragility, weakness, vulnerability to outside influence and a lack of resources and attention. A journalist from China Philanthropy Times has interviewed Zhu on the characteristics of community charity and the trends of its future development. Perhaps his views can provide some enlightenment regarding the development of community charity organizations, including community foundations.

“Community foundations are the experts on communities”

China Philanthropy Times: The Guangdong Harmony Foundation (GHF) was established in 2009. What are the major fields that the Foundation works on? How has the Foundation developed in recent years?

Zhu: As a community foundation, we focus our work on the area of the Pearl River Delta. According to our research and surveys, there are three major problems in the Delta that need solving. The first is the challenge of assimilating the floating population. The second is the environmental pollution brought about by “pollute first, solve the problems later” policies. The third is the problems of the development of community charity for disadvantaged groups caused by disparities in wealth. Currently, the GHF spends about 15 million yuan annually on charity.

Personally, I am most satisfied with the “Ronghe Project” which supports local charities to speed up the integration of the migrant population. By September 2016, the “Ronghe Project” has worked with governments, enterprises, the press, charity organizations and Walking Proud, supporting 56 projects on the floating population, covering more than 20 communities in the Delta, donating over 3 million RMB, and directly serving and influencing more than 10,000 people.

China Philanthropy Times: You have been involved in promoting and supporting community charities for almost 20 years. What do you think have been the different phases of the development of community charity in China?

Zhu: Community charities’ development has taken place in synchrony with that of grassroots NGOs. At the early stage, they focused on care and services, including providing services for the elderly and the disabled. Gradually, some organizations started to get involved in rights protection. Now they participate in communal management. These three phases reflect the government’s reforms and its emphasis on the diverse co-management of community affairs. These changes also reflect the citizens’ attitudes towards community affairs, the improvement in their character and the stronger awareness of rights and interests. Of course, this development also demonstrates that activists are touching upon the deeper problems of communities, gradually promoting the development of community charities.

China Philanthropy Times: What methods does GHD use to work with neighborhoods, communities, cities and districts? How can we understand the position and orientation of community foundations?

Zhu: The main work of GHF is aimed at providing technical support for community charities, helping them with venture capital investments. We also establish foundations with other parties. For instance, in Luohuo, Shezhen, we work with the local government to set up a social service organization and specialized foundations, helping with local venture capital investments. In the meantime, we try and spread this valuable experience to other places, such as Guangzhou, Shunde and Foshan. As community foundations are rooted in communities, focus on communities and support communal development, they know the real conditions of communities. In a sense, community foundations are experts on communities. Thus governments are willing to work with them, and NGOs hope to seek help from them.

China Philanthropy Times: Community organizations have to work with officials from the governments, neighborhoods and communities. How can this relationship be balanced while maintaining the foundations’ independence?   

Zhu: This is a challenging problem. I think that in order for independence to be maintained, the funds for community organizations must come from the public and be diverse. This is an important foundation for independence. However, this does stand in the way of the relationship between community foundations and other parties. Foundations should play the role of a platform, bringing NGOs, governments, neighborhoods and relevant parities together to discuss issues, eliminate misunderstandings and achieve common objectives. The core of balancing these relationships is to seek common ground. Of course, seeking common ground while preserving differences is also important.

“Development must be localized”

China Philanthropy Times: At present China already has 5,393 foundations, but only dozens of community foundations. Meanwhile, the development of community foundations is unbalanced. Community foundations in Shanghai and Guangdong account for 70% of the total community foundations. What do you think?

Zhu: Although the number of community foundations is small, I think there is a great potential for development. The unique strength of community organizations is their locality. They are greatly connected with the local needs, resources and diverse benefits. In Chinese culture, there is a strong identification with one’s locality. Thanks to this, we are more willing to devote resources to our hometowns, and focus on problems related to our places of origin.

However, community organizations also suffer from “intrinsic shortcomings.” Many of the domestic community organizations are influenced and limited by administrative concepts. Many people regard neighborhoods as communities. In fact, people need to have a deeper understanding of communities: communities can be big and small. A street, a neighborhood, or even a city, a district.

As for the imbalance in geographic distribution, the reason is simple: government support. Why do these local governments support community organizations? They realize that the problems confronted by communities cannot be settled only through the efforts of the government, but through the diverse forces of society.

China Philanthropy Times: The concept of community foundations originates abroad. From your understanding, what are the differences between China’s community foundations and those from overseas? What can we learn from them?

Zhu: The major difference is that community foundations abroad are largely initiated by social organizations or individuals, while in China they are initiated by the governments. I think the vitality of community foundations relies on the public. Only by stimulating the strength of the public can community foundations obtain real development.

The Global Summit on Community Philanthropy was held on the first two days of December in Johannesburg, South Africa. GHF, as the representative for China’ community foundations, attended the summit. I was greatly impressed by the varied and versatile community foundations and their development patterns. Before the summit we only understood the American model, which is largely based on guaranteed funds. However, we have seen how small and medium community foundations have developed their own paths. In addition, the charm of Africa and the work carried out there by many organizations and activists also left me with a deep impression.

China Philanthropy Times: Some commentators think community foundations will become the next development trend, but some say that China does not have any real community foundations. What do you make of this?

Zhu: At this year’s Global Community Foundation Summit we understood that there is more than just the American model for development, and we should not use solely the American model to measure community foundations around the world. The most important thing is to generate foundations that rely on internal power and suit local needs. This is the real development trend. Community foundations’ development in China should be diversified. The whole process may involve eliminating the fake foundations and retaining the real ones, or the fake ones may be mistaken for the real ones. Many will find it hard to understand this process.

Taking GHF as an example, we have learnt from the American model and we now fit the six standards set by the American Community Foundation. Fitting these standards is however not our aim. Our aim is to develop foundations that are in line with local needs and cultures after drawing on the experience of foreign foundations. This is what we really need to do.

Interconnection promotes capacity building

China Philanthropy Times: You mentioned the “He Platform” at the Global Community Foundation Summit. What kind of platform is it? What influence do you wish this platform to exert?

Zhu: The “He Platform” is a platform launched by the Zhenro Foundation, the Dunhe Foundation and the Narada Foundation to support the development of grassroots social organizations in second and third tier cities. We found that if we first support the community organizations, and then use them to support charities, this may be a better strategy. Our efforts may yield better results.

We want to work together and use this platform to support community foundations, and individuals and groups who are working on establishing community foundations. If community foundations are properly developed, more resources will be drawn into communities, supporting more charities. The GHF is also prepared to provide funds for the “He Platform” and invite experts from the Global Community Foundation to strengthen the capacity building of China’s community foundations. This platform is precious and valuable. We hope it will become a key channel for the development of China’s community foundations.

China Philanthropy Times: Looking at last year’s performance, what do you think are the highlights of the development of community foundations?

Zhu: In 2016, we are seeing an increasing participation of philanthropists in community philanthropy. Community foundations driven by governments, businesses and the public are all developing. The connections among foundations themselves are tightening. China’s First Community Foundation Forum, held at the China Charity Fair in Shenzhen, as well as the Global Community Foundation Summit we held together with the Zhenro Foundation all attest to this fact. This connection will exert great influence on the capacity building of community foundations, the exchange of ideas and the expansion of their influence.

China Philanthropy Times: As one of China’s first community foundations, what’s this year’s plan for GHF?

Zhu: As one of China’s first community foundations, we are obliged to promote the development of community foundations. However, this does not mean we have to create a “GHF Model” or an “American Model” to evaluate the properties of community foundations. The key is to raise public awareness on the importance of community philanthropy and community charity organizations, and on the fact that the soil for social change lies in the community. This year we hope to hold national training sessions for the general secretaries of community foundations, and forums for such foundations. We also hope to translate and publish books on the development of community foundations, allowing more people to understand them. But of course, the most important thing is to do our work well and raise more funds to provide support for more social organizations.

朱健刚:社区基金会是社区议题的推动者2017-01-03 来源 :公益时报  作者 : 皮磊

“我们需要更加积极,把自己看作跨界合作的平台,推动各种在地的利益相关方进行交流和协作;我们也把自己看作是社区议题的推动者,促进议题方面更多的政策创新,推动更多的NGO开展合作。这些都应该是当下社区基金会在中国社区发展的责任,我们责无旁贷。”

2016年12月,全球社区基金会峰会在南非约翰内斯堡举行,来自60个国家的360余位社区基金会代表参加了会议。广东省千禾社区公益基金会(以下简称千禾基金会)作为中国社区基金会的代表参加了此次峰会。会上,千禾基金会副理事长、秘书长,中山大学中国南方公益慈善研究院执行院长朱健刚以千禾基金会为例,做了题为《社区基金会在中国》的发言。

朱健刚从事社区公益组织的推动和支持工作已有将近20年时间。在他看来,社区公益组织有一个共同的特征,就是“小”。朱健刚认为,“小”不一定是不好的词,“小”意味着灵活、独立、充满活力,且容易活下去,但“小”也有一些负面的作用,脆弱、力量不足、易受打击,以及缺少资源和关注。就社区基金会的特点及未来发展趋势等问题,《公益时报》记者对朱健刚进行了专访。他的观点或许能对社区基金会包括其他社区公益组织的发展提供一些思路和启示。

社区基金会是社区专家

《公益时报》:千禾基金会成立于2009年,基金会的工作主要围绕哪些领域展开?近年来基金会发展情况如何?

朱健刚:作为一家社区基金会,我们把珠三角看作服务的社区。根据我们的研究和调查,珠三角地区有三大问题是需要重点解决的:一是大量流动人口给社区融合带来的挑战;二是“先污染,后治理”的工业化带来的环境污染问题;三是贫富差距带来的针对社区弱势群体的社区公益发展问题。现在千禾基金会的业务主要围绕这三大领域开展。目前,千禾基金会每年的公益支出大约为1500万元。

我个人最满意的项目是针对流动人口社区融合的“榕禾计划”,这个项目支持本土公益组织推动社区流动人口的融合。截至2016年9月,“榕禾计划”与政府、企业、媒体、慈善团体、益动广东联合劝募平台等开展合作,通过自主资助、联合资助和联合劝募,共支持了56个流动人口社区公益项目,覆盖珠三角地区20余个流动人口聚集社区,累计资助金额超过300万元,直接服务和影响过万人。

《公益时报》:您个人从事社区公益组织的推动和支持工作差不多20年时间,就您的经验来看,我国社区公益事业的发展经历了哪几个阶段?

朱健刚:社区公益是随着社区草根NGO的发展而逐渐发展起来的,早期是关注服务,包括给老年人、残疾人等提供各种服务,慢慢地有些组织开始做社区维权,现在则参与到社区治理中,力争实现社区多元主体共同治理。这三个阶段实际上也反映出政府的改革思路越来越强调社区的多元共治,反映出社区居民的变化,公民素养越来越高,权利和责任意识越来越强。当然,这种发展也反映出社区行动者们越来越触及到社区的深层次问题,由浅入深地推动社区公益的发展。

《公益时报》:就千禾基金会来说,主要通过哪种方式与街道、社区以及区、市层面开展合作?如何理解社区基金会的定位?

朱健刚:我们最重要的功能是提供社区公益的第三方技术支持,帮助街道、区、市发展社区公益创投,同时我们也做合作基金。比如在深圳罗湖,我们出一点,地方政府出一点,共同建立了一家社会服务机构,并且推动成立专项基金,帮助当地发展公益创投。同时也把这些有价值的经验推广到珠三角的广州、顺德、佛山等地。由于长期扎根社区、关注社区、支持社区组织发展,所以社区基金会了解社区。从某种意义上来说,社区基金会是一个社区专家,因此政府愿意跟它合作,NGO也希望向它寻求支持。

《公益时报》:社区基金会可能需要经常与政府、街道、社区打交道,如何平衡他们之间的关系,同时保持基金会的独立性?

朱健刚:这是一个很有挑战性的问题。我认为社区基金会要保持独立性,首先资金要来源于民间,而且是多元的,这是保持独立性很重要的一个基础。但这并不妨碍社区基金会积极地和政府、街道办打交道,他们都是社区工作的重要利益相关方,社区基金会应该帮助他们实现社区发展的目标。社区基金会扮演的是平台角色,将民间NGO、政府、街道办等各个利益相关方拉到一起讨论问题、消除误解,实现共同的目标。我想平衡这些关系的核心就是寻求共识,当然,寻求共识的同时也需要利益相关方之间求同存异。

发展必须实现民间化

《公益时报》:截至目前,我国已有5393家基金会,而社区基金会只有几十家。此外,社区基金会的发展十分不平衡,上海、广东的社区基金会占了总数的70%多。您如何看待这种现象?

朱健刚:虽然我国的社区基金会目前数量比较少,但我认为未来大有发展前途。社区基金会的独特优势在于其在地性,它和社区本身的需求、本土的资源、多元的利益相关方紧密相连。中国人文化概念里有很强的地缘认同,这样的认同让我们愿意把资源投注到家乡,也愿意关注、解决和自己地域相关的问题。

不过社区基金会也有明显的“先天不足”,目前我国很多社区基金会还停留在“街道办”的思维局限里,受到行政概念的影响,很多人把街道办管辖的政区范围与社区等同起来,这就限制了人们关于社区的想象。事实上,人们应该深入理解自然演进的社区:社区可大可小,它可以是一个街道,也可以是一个区,甚至可以是一个城市、一个地区。

至于社区基金会地域分布不均衡,原因很简单,因为当地政府强力推动的就多。虽然这些社区基金会形同质异,但在数量上占据了相当大一部分。这些地方政府为什么要支持社区基金会呢?因为他们比其他地方更早意识到,社区遇到的问题光靠政府是不够的,需要社会多元共治才能解决。

《公益时报》:社区基金会的概念起源于国外,根据您的了解,中国的社区基金会和国外成熟的社区基金会相比,有哪些不同?我们可以向他们学习什么?

朱健刚:很大的不同在于,国外的社区基金会很多都是由民间组织或个人发起,中国的大部分社区基金会是由政府发起和推动的。我觉得社区基金会要具有真正的生命力就必须民间化。让慈善回归民间,只有民间激发出内在的推动力,社区基金会才能真正发展起来。

2016年12月1日至2日,全球社区基金会峰会于南非约翰内斯堡举行。千禾基金会作为中国社区基金会的代表也参加了这次会议。我最大的感悟就是看到了多姿多彩的社区基金会以及社区慈善发展方式。之前我们主要了解的是美国模式,它大体上以保本基金为基础进行发展,在峰会上我们看到了各种小型社区基金会灵活多样的发展路径。另外就是非洲的魔力,非洲有很多有活力的组织和行动者在努力工作,这也让我印象很深刻。

《公益时报》:此前有评论说社区基金会将成为发展趋势,也有人说中国不存在真正意义上的社区基金会。对此您怎么看?

朱健刚:在这次全球社区基金会峰会上,我们知道了社区基金会并非只有美国模式,也不能单一按照美国标准去衡量各地的社区基金会。实际上最重要的是要靠内生力量不断发展出符合本地社区需求的基金会,这才是未来的趋势。未来社区基金会在中国的发展应该是多样化的,有可能去伪存真,也有可能弄假成真,这个过程是很多人不太容易理解的。

以千禾基金会为例,我们学习了美国模式,符合美国社区基金会6个标准的定义,但符合定义并不是我们的目的。我们的目的是学习国外的经验之后,发展出真正适合本地社区、与本地文化脉络相连接的基金会,这才是我们真正要做的事情。

互相联结提升能力

《公益时报》:在全球社区基金会峰会上您提到了“和平台”,这是一个怎样的平台?你希望这个平台发挥怎样的作用?

朱健刚:“和平台”是由正荣公益基金会、敦和基金会、南都公益基金会联合发起的支持国内二三线城市草根社会组织的平台。通过交流我们发现,如果先支持社区基金会的发展,再通过它们来支持公益组织,可能是一种更好的策略,能产生更大的影响力。

我们想联合起来,让这个平台为各地社区基金会或酝酿成立社区基金会的个人和组织提供支持。如果社区基金会得到发展,就能吸引更多资源进入社区,支持更多的公益组织。千禾基金会也准备拿出一定的资金来推动“和平台”的发展,同时邀请全球社区基金会联盟的专家来中国推动社区公益基金会的能力建设。这个平台十分有价值,我们希望它能成为推动中国社区基金会发展的关键枢纽。

《公益时报》:就去年来看,您觉得我国社区基金会的发展有什么亮点?

朱健刚:2016年,我们看到越来越多的慈善家参与到社区公益当中,政府驱动、商业驱动、民间驱动三种类型的社区基金会都在发展,特别是社区基金会之间开始互相联结。其标志就是中国首届社区基金会论坛在深圳慈展会召开,还有这次我们和正荣公益基金会的伙伴一同参加了全球社区公益基金会峰会等。这种连接对于促进社区基金会本身的能力提升、促进互相学习以及促进影响力的扩大都有很大作用。

《公益时报》:作为中国最早的社区基金会之一,千禾基金会今年有什么计划?

朱健刚:作为中国最早的社区基金会之一,我们有责任推动社区基金会在中国的发展。当然,这并不是说一定要有一个“千禾模式”或者“美国模式”来评估社区基金会的属性。最关键的是推动大家意识到社区公益和社区公益组织的重要性,意识到社会改变的土壤正在社区中酝酿。今年我们希望举办全国性的社区基金会秘书长培训,举办相关的社区基金会论坛,我们也希望翻译出版一批有关社区基金会发展的书籍,让更多人了解社区基金会。当然最重要是做好基金会本身的工作,扩大资金规模,给更多社会组织提供支持。

Translated by Jiang Jiajie

No related content found.

Share: