China’s Charity Law, passed in 2016, stipulates that all charitable organisations must release fundraising information only on official platforms recognised by the Civil Affairs Department of the State Council. A year and a half after 12 organizations passed the first round of selections by the Ministry of Civil Affairs as designated fundraising platforms, the ministry started the second round of selections this January. The 12 platforms designated last year recently published their 2017 annual reports. The statistics released, including the amount of funds raised, the number of programs already launched, and the amount of donations, reveal evident disparities between the 12 organizations.
Table 1 Amount of Funds Raised in 2017
|Ranking||Platform||Amount of Funds (millions of yuan)|
|4||United for Charity||69.12|
|7||Shanghai United Foundation||19.81|
|12||China Foundation Center||1.12|
The aggregate collected donations in 2017 amounted to over 2.58 billion yuan. Tencent Charity took up the lion’s share with 1.625 billion, making more contributions than the other 11 organizations combined. During last year’s “9/9 Philanthropy Day“, actually a three-day activity, the Tencent group managed to raise 1.3 billion yuan, including 829.9 million Yuan from the public, 299.99 million Yuan from the Tencent Foundation and 177 million Yuan from social enterprises. Ant Financial Service and Taobao Charity, which belong to another eminent group, Alibaba, ranked 2nd and 3rd.
Table 2 Number of Donations in 2017
|Ranking||Platform||Number of Donations (thousands)|
|2||Ant Financial Service||203000|
|8||Shanghai United Foundation||150|
|9||China Foundation Center||130|
|10||United for Charity||44|
In total, 6.2 billion separate donations were made via internet fundraising platforms. Divided by China’s 1.383 people (according to the 2016 census), the average number of donations per capita was 4.5. Taobao Charity takes the lead with 5.98 billion donations, which equals 13 times those initiated by the remaining 11 platforms. This considerable number achieved by Taobao should mostly be credited to its ‘charity products’ project (公益宝贝计划). Every time one of the participating shops makes a sale, a very small donation is automatically made. 83% of the 298 million yuan raised through this platform, according to Taobao Charity’s annual report, came from this project.
Table 3 Average Amount per Donation
|Ranking||Platform||Amount per Person (yuan)|
|1||United for Charity||1570.91|
|4||Shanghai United Foundation||132.07|
|10||China Foundation Center||8.62|
|11||Ant Financial Service||2.4|
Table 3 is the amount of money per donation, calculated through the data provided above. United for Charity is ranked at the top of the list, with an average amount as high as 1570.91 yuan. By comparison, Taobao has an absolute advantage in terms of participants, but the average donation comes down to 0.0498 yuan.
Table 4 Projects Launched in 2017
|Ranking||Platform||Number of Projects|
|5||Ant Financial Service||1029|
|9||United for Charity||151|
|10||Shanghai United Foundation||119|
|11||China Foundation Center||77|
As shown by the annual reports, Tencent Charity boasts the largest number of fundraising programs with 16847, followed by Weibo Charity with 2087 programs. The platform at the bottom of the list is Baidu Charity, which only put forward 57 projects (53 of them still in the fundraising process).
Table 5 Number of Partners
|Ranking||Platform||Number of Partners|
|3||Ant Financial Service||111|
|9||China Foundation Center||28|
|11||United for Charity||17|
|12||Shanghai United Foundation||5|
With 289 partners, Tencent also outweighs its counterparts with regards to the number of partners (meaning the number of organizations that use the platform to fundraise). By comparison, the Shanghai United Foundation has only established cooperative relationships with 5 charities. In addition, it can be observed that many of the 12 platforms share a lot of their partners. According to Charity in China, 951 out of the 3591 officially registered charity organizations in the country have the qualifications for public fundraising. In other words, even Tencent has only reached 30% of all the organizations. Since it is stated in the Charity Law that only after issuing an announcement on the designated platforms can an organization conduct online fundraising, it is clear that many organizations qualified for public fundraising have still not started any online donation programs.
The second round of applications for designated online fundraising platforms just closed on February the 2nd. It is estimated that about ten applicants will be accepted this year.