Recently the word “grassroots” has been used to describe anyone facing some kind of hardship. However, to truly be considered ‘grassroots’, the author, Feng Yongfeng, believes that an organization should express the multi-colored nature of society, and have ‘serving the community’ as its mission. He also goes on to talk about how ‘co-operation’, ‘mutual support’ and, most of all, ‘trust’, should be the keywords for the grassroots NGO sector.
While there are doubts about social organizations funded by entrepreneurs or intellectuals, in Feng’s opinion the only way to evaluate them is to make a long-term consideration of their authenticity and aims. In this context, he is skeptical of the recent emphasis that the government has put on purchasing social services from grassroots organizations. In Feng’s opinion the government considers these organizations as additions to the state, not parts of society, and he warns about a disrespect of ‘boundaries’. What he fears most is that grassroots organizations will become mere “patches” and “stewards” for the state.