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Executive Summary

The Global Chinese Philanthropy Initiative (GCPI) is a partnership between Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, the UCI Long U.S.–China Institute, and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs that aims to (1) improve U.S.–China relations by promoting dialogue and collaboration among philanthropists in the two regions, (2) develop philanthropy among the next generation of Chinese and Chinese American leaders in both public and private sectors, and (3) advance Chinese Americans and Chinese as positive, contributing role models in the United States and Greater China.

GCPI begins with a bilateral research study that examines the innovative ways Chinese and Chinese Americans contribute to society through philanthropy. While this study examines the giving patterns of Americans of Chinese descent and of those in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau and illuminates giving trends, motivations, and impact among philanthropists, future research may study Chinese philanthropy around the globe.

Relying on quantitative data (including Indiana University’s Million Dollar List, GuideStar's comprehensive list of American foundations, and data from the China Foundation Center), as well as qualitative interviews, and other academic and publicly published sources on over 60 Chinese and Chinese American philanthropists, this study answers three key questions:

  • Are Chinese and Chinese Americans giving significantly in their respective countries through philanthropy?
  • Who are these philanthropists, and what motivates them?
  • How can this philanthropy be encouraged and strengthened?
  • What barriers and challenges are there?

This study contributes to our collective knowledge in two ways. First, it focuses on Chinese and Chinese American giving; while other studies focus on China or the United States, this effort considers both. Second, it is organized to promote ongoing dialogue, using study findings as a basis for concrete outreach activities such as conferences and study tours as well as a range of publications over multiple years. Interaction among Chinese philanthropists and Chinese American and other American philanthropists can lead to positive exchanges of best practices and work on common problems.

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