The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School has released a series of projects focusing on China’s top 100 philanthropists. By quantifying philanthropic data, the School’s researchers hope to present a detailed landscape of Chinese philanthropists as well as providing valuable information for related actors, such as governments, social organizations and the media. The published reports have mapped the philanthropic activities of mainland China’s top 100 largest donors in 2015, examining their identity, their fortunes, what sectors they work in, what causes their donations and which areas of the country benefit from their giving. A website has also been set up for future data collection and updates.
According to the research, the philanthropists are an average of 54 years old. They tend to use the money on projects in their home provinces; poorer regions such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Gansu and Yunnan have received only 1.96% of the total donations. Wang Miaotong, the chairman of the board of SJ Huatong, has been named as the “most generous” of the philanthropists. The educational sector has benefited the most from their donations; despite the increasingly severe environmental issues in China, environmental charities and organizations have received the least donations. 17 of the philanthropists have established their own foundations, signaling that Chinese philanthropists are becoming professional.