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Borderless Charity: Let Everyone Help Everyone

 huanqiu, 2014-04-03

By Ye Fang


The grand charity era was donated by rich people. The richest 20% donated to support the poor in their eyes, wealth redistribution to some extent. In traditional charity, rich people donated, but didn’t care where the money had gone; and poor people only received, but didn’t know what to do after the money was used up. Rich people equaled donation to charity; and poor people took donation as social equity. There was no concept of “sustainability” in that era, charity was just an acronym of nobleness, and money was the only threshold for doing charity.


What about now?

Borderless Charity


On 28 March 2014, the Social Innovation Carnival 2014 sponsored by YouChange was formally unveiled. With the theme “Social Innovation Big Discovery”, this event aimed to identify and support social enterprises and social innovations as well as advocate and promote “social value investment”.

What is Social Innovation?


“Social innovation is to discover unmet needs and unused resources, and resolve social problems in a more transparent, effective and sustainable way through reorganization and improved allocation of resources. Here, social innovation refers to practical examples in innovative settlement of social problems. It carries the basic features of neo-philanthropy—advocating new ideas, exploring new fields, discovering new forces, integrating new resources, experimenting new methods, adopting new technologies and cultivating new talents.”


YouChange Chairperson Wang Ping said, “Borderless will become a key word in social innovation in the future.” She argued that when people from all sections of the society, including the government and the private sector, were creating social value then we were seeking public interests.


Your journalist noticed that business representatives from the Internet, finance, solar panel and many other sectors took the floor to brief the audience about their sector’s integration with charity.


Ma Weiqiang, spokesperson of, said, “Crowd fundraising helps a person transcend time and geography to easily support charity and participate in social activities. In addition, crowd fundraising pays more attention to financing from the whole society. Like an SNS channel, it takes time for the conception of charity to spread from one person to another.”


La China Capital is committed to foreign investors in China and Chinese investors overseas.



CreditEase serves small and micro startup businesses and poor rural households.


Corporations and their leader have shifted their charity practice from the traditional donation model to cross-sector cooperation that can play out their respective advantages. In the pool of social innovation, different players compete and supplement with each other. This does not mean that we don’t need rich people to donate and many charity organizations and individuals remain reliant on large-sum direct donation. Rather, it means that donation and execution, two steps in resolving social problems, need to fulfill their respective functions for effective charity.


Can Everyone Help Everyone?

Is editing an entry in Wikepedia charity?

Is buying fair trade coffee charity?


Is development of high-energy-efficiency buildings charity?

Is paying for medicine at average price in social-enterprise hospitals charity?


They were not considered ways of social contribution a few decades ago. However, with the emergence of such charity organizations as CA Bikes, Ceramic Houses, Habitat for Humanity, and India’s Aravind Eye Hospital, they have become popular ways of doing charity. Much more than donation, charity provides diverse options and engages more and more people than before, as YouChange Chairperson Wang Ping argued that “the freedom and development of everyone helps the freedom and development of all.”


Any noble starting point must be based on ordinary life if it is to achieve effective goals. Charity by a small number of people cannot be sustainable. Only easy participation by everyone can benefit all. When we ask “Can everyone help everyone”, the answer is a resounding yes. The above-mentioned examples are just the tip of an iceberg in today’s social innovation and ordinary people’s charity. More and more assisting ways are on the horizon.


In the past, we praised lavish donation by rich people; now, we appreciate those visionary people for making charity closer to the people. Maybe charity will become part of life for everyone tomorrow.


About YouChange Foundation


The China Social Entrepreneur Foundation (YouChange) is a non-profit charitable organization approved by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and officially registered at the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Promoting the harmonious development of human social justice is our goal, and to discover and support neo-philanthropy leaders, establish a neo-philanthropy network and platform of cross-sector cooperation is our mission. By R&D, experiment, funding, cooperation and advocacy, it aims to build a neo-philanthropy value chain and work for the establishment of a social eco-system which is more just, more effective and more sustainable.

Social innovation carnival is a cross-sector charity event launched by YouChange in 2010, a platform to advocate social innovation. The carnival this year is the third one. Outstanding corporate citizens, government departments, academic institutes, and media organizations participate to create a cross-sector, cross-regional and cross-field environment for social innovation. It encourages new methods, new thinking and new explorations for more effective solutions to social problems. 

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