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Summary of Findings

This section includes a list of key takeaways from the GCPI Report.

  • Wealth in China has increased significantly over the last four decades and is reflected in the increase in Chinese philanthropists and the number of private foundations in China. Current estimates indicate the number of billionaires at about 600 and the number of foundations at over 5,500.
  • Policies and practices promoting philanthropy in China have begun to change, such as the recently passed Charity Law. The law has reformed registration procedures, tax incentives, and governance, enabling growth of the charitable sector. Experts are optimistic of the landmark reform and are looking forward to implementation of the new laws.
  • Philanthropic organizations in China continue to find opportunities to further enhance organizational arrangements such as transparency, professionalized staff, practices in grant making, monitoring and evaluation, and the effective use of communications.
  • Chinese Americans in the United States are among the fastest growing ethnic groups. They have rich and complex histories in America and are not easily characterized. They number about 4 million and constitute about 1.3% of the U.S. population.
  • The proportion of large gifts (USD 1 million [RMB 6.1 million] or more) by Chinese Americans among all large gifts in the United States represents a similar proportion to their representation in the population, about 1.2%.
  • There were approximately 1,281 Chinese American foundations in the United States as of 2014. The rate of growth of Chinese American foundations between 2000 and 2014 outpaced the growth of all U.S. foundations by nearly three times.
  • Motivations for giving among Chinese and Chinese Americans are dominated by interests in key sectors, such as education and health. Among Chinese philanthropists, pragmatism also ranks high as a motivating factor.
  • About half of Chinese and Chinese American philanthropists referred to funded projects that had measurable impact; however, both groups exhibited low levels of intent to achieve social impact. Chinese Americans more frequently expressed consideration of intending to make an impact, possibly reflecting greater awareness about impact within the U.S. philanthropic context.
  • Philanthropists have common interests and are helping solve common problems in education, health, and the environment. Their efforts occur in their respective regions but also transnationally. These philanthropists connect with one another and with philanthropic sectors in both the United States and Greater China as well as with governmental entities. Joint projects have already begun to form. Exchanges and joint projects can increase learning and solutions.
  • Significant contributions of Chinese and Chinese American philanthropists include supporting access to higher education, advances in health and computer sciences, disaster relief, environmental conservation, and arts and cultural preservation. Contributions can also be seen in advancing the philanthropic sector, especially in China. Further development and awareness is needed to build capacity to evaluate programs and demonstrate measurable social impact.

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