Philanthropy for Health in China

Xu Yongguang, Chairman of the Narada Foundation, discussing his chapter in the forthcoming CMB commissioned volume on Philanthropy for Health in China on future prospects for philanthropy in China. Author Fan Li (left) is contributing a chapter on philanthropy and special health needs in China.

On December 3-4, about two dozen authors of a forthcoming CMB commissioned volume on Philanthropy for Health in China convened at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, MA, to shape the volume’s theme and structure and to strengthen individual chapters through peer review and feedback. The volume, co-organized by Peter Geithner (CMB Senior Advisor) and Wang Zhenyao (王振耀) (Director and Dean of Beijing Normal University’s China Philanthropy Research Institute) seeks to chart the historical evolution of health philanthropy in China throughout the 20th century as well as document current prospects and future challenges for a new generation of health philanthropy in China.

Over the course of the two-day workshop, moderated by CMB President Lincoln Chen and Harvard Kennedy School Professor and CMB Trustee Tony Saich, the book’s authors—a group of Chinese and Western scholars, practitioners, and thought leaders—discussed the enormous vitality of philanthropy in China—past, present and future —especially China’s distinctive aspects of philanthropy for health. Discussions included both domestic and foreign influences that animate the philanthropic scene in China, including the powerful role of government, which provides the policy and legal framework for philanthropy and has also spawned an enormous cluster of Government-Organized Non-Governmental Organizations (GONGOs). Other important historical influences, opportunities and challenges for health philanthropy were examined, including in-depth case studies of domestic and foreign philanthropic engagement in China by the Rockefeller Foundation, China Red Cross, and Ford Foundation as well as lessons learned from philanthropic strategies for contemporary health challenges such as HIV/AIDs, reproductive health, tobacco control and special health needs.

The philanthropy volume is one of 3 books CMB has commissioned in connection with its centennial in 2014. Information about CMB’s centennial projects, including the philanthropy volume can be found on the centennial projects page.