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YouChange Board of Directors’ Comments on 2013 and Vision for 2014


On 16 January 2014, The China Social Entrepreneur Foundation (YouChange) had its fourth plenary meeting in Beijing. The Board adopted resolutions according to Regulation on Foundation Administration, the Constitution of China Social Entrepreneur Foundation and the Rules of Order of YouChange Board of Directors Meetings. In particular, the meeting spent much time in deliberating and reviewing YouChange’s work report 2013 and its work plan 2014.

Ms. Wang Ping, Chairperson and Secretary General, chaired the meeting and delivered the work report on behalf of the secretariat. She said that YouChange overcame the greatest difficulty of fundraising, rose up to the challenges and made important progress in strategic upgrading, sustainable institutional development, and institutional building. By the end of 2013, YouChange received 35 million yuan in revenue and spent 33 million for charity purposes. YouChange has become an increasingly influential brand for innovation.

Director Kang Xiaoguang described the work report as fruitful and effective. Director Zhao Ming congratulated on YouChange for shifting from fast growth through twists and turns to stable growth by internal organizational adjustment and improvement and for going through all kinds of circumstances and acquiring genes for endogenous growth. Director Wu Bofan stressed that YouChange “has completed the transformation from a resource-driven to a capacity-driven charity organization.” All in all, YouChange directors gave high credit to the breakthrough YouChange made in 2013.

In particular, YouChange directors focused on YouChange Volunteer Station Network and the Impact Fund and expressed the hope that the network would mobilize more businesses and social resources and bright its work onto a higher level in 2014.

On the Impact Fund, new director Wang Ming (elected by the Board through correspondence) stressed that social innovation in the market deserves more attention and support. Many entrepreneurs who have shifted their attention from the present to the future need strategic, cultural and policy support. The Impact Fund can help entrepreneurs to make social investment and their businesses to adjust themselves for charity purposes, an important dimension of cross-sector cooperation. Director Zhao believed the fund served to meet the crucial issue and primary needs in the development of the society and philanthropy.

Talents and team building are an important basis for a foundation, which got the close attention of YouChange directors. They thought YouChange made a breakthrough on this issue in 2013 as it developed clear organizational structure and division of labor system and its operation became more standardized and professional. Director Peng Zhuangzhuang suggested that deepening and innovating the system for the career development of talented people be an important issue for YouChange’s future.

Directors and their representatives also put forwards good suggestions on how to integrate philanthropy with new media, new technologies and new social development trends, and raised their hopes on how YouChange and its member organizations integrate resources and jointly support charity projects. The meeting also discussed how to improve the governance of the Board.

In conclusion, YouChange’s permanent legal counsel Wis & Weals Law Firm issued a witness document, which brought the meeting to a successful conclusion.

Comments from Directors:

Director Kang Xiaoguang: outstanding performance and fruitful results in 2013.

         YouChange’s performance in 2013 was outstanding and fruitful in either projects, fundraising or institutional building. In particular, we moved forward steadily in building the volunteer station network along with businesses and CPAD. Longstanding projects such as volunteer teaching, eagle plan and startup café have taken concrete steps forward and become more mature. This is encouraging.

         In 2014, we need to seize the momentum and keep deepening and expanding. We can work together with CPAD to integrate resources from businesses and pool volunteers. I am optimistic about this direction.

Director Wang Ming; cross-sector cooperation should be limited to the social field.

         Platform represents an important trend in China’s philanthropy—disintermediation. The essential meaning of platform is the concept of public. It goes beyond manmade boundaries and develops an open mechanism for the public and the beneficiary in particular. The five strategic platforms proposed by YouChange are very innovative.

         We need to support social innovation among social organizations and, in particular, in the market. In China’s transitional process, entrepreneurs, also engaged in social innovation, have shifted their attention from the present to the future. They began to pay attention to bigger things in culture and society and invest in some social projects with longer-term implications. However, they lack necessary information and strategic, cultural, and policy support. We need to help them in making social investment. The main investors in this field may not necessarily be social organizations. We can help some businesses develop some rules for charity purposes and transform them into social enterprises. This is something we need to pay attention to when building the platforms for cross-sector cooperation.

Our cross-sector cooperation should not be limited to the social field as social innovation can also be done in other areas. We need to think about cross-sector cooperation from different viewpoints, e.g. the government and the business community, rather than just one perspective. We have already come up with some good ideas in the 2014 work plan. It will be very meaningful if we can have a mechanism integrated with the ongoing governmental reform and business operation of entrepreneurs to help and work together with them.

Director Zhao Ming: Complete a life cycle of an organization and acquire genes for endogenous growth.

         In 2013, we moved from rapid growth to stable growth through twists and turns and self-adjustment. The work report just delivered gives us a very good answer. Thanks to our efforts in the past year and more, we have acquired genes for endogenous growth by adjusting and improving our internal mechanisms.

         We have encountered some chilly weather in the past two years. The macro policy and economic environments at home and abroad got better and worse from time to time. Charity organizations like us must keep adapting to changing circumstances by adjusting our development strategy and pace. After six years’ of development, our organization has completed a life cycle. This is worth celebrating and we can expect more.

The Impact Fund is an innovation last year. Acting on the pulse of our times, it serves to meet the crucial issue and primary needs in the development of the society and philanthropy.

Supervisor Qu Tianjun (representing Director Zheng Wenkai): sum up representative experience in the country.

         In 2013, YouChange made major breakthroughs, e.g. team and institutional building. Everyone’s responsibility is clearly defined.

         There will be a big conference on social poverty reduction at the end of 2014. YouChange needs to sum up representative experience for wider promotion in the country.

Director Wu Bofan: build future competitiveness with Internet thinking.

         In 2013, YouChange succeeded in transforming itself from a resource-driven to a capacity-driven charity organization. The age of the Internet has brought more players into the media and the financial sector. The charity community will be the next one. While a small number of people donated large sums to charity in the past, a considerably larger group of people will donate small money to help the poor. This is a general trend. By saying neo-philanthropy, we mean that the way for charity to get resources has changes. We much change accordingly and this is exactly what YouChange did in 2013. Neo-philanthropy embodies our acknowledgement, recognition and conception of modern technologies. We need to adopt the all-compassing Internet thinking to build future competitiveness.

In the past year, YouChange has also standardized its operation. YouChange has done better in this regard than many other Chinese charity organizations. I think standardization is a small habit which will lead to deeper changes and evolve into an organizational habit, or organizational culture.

Director Peng Zhuangzhuang: how to leverage new technologies on charity.

         The use of new media and new technologies may have a deeper impact on the whole charity community. Our directors and team need to take a serious look into this issue. For example, what impact new technologies will have on charity? As a leader and innovator, what can be done and what role should be taken by YouChange?

         We need to develop more substantive and deeper arrangements on career development for our staff. This is an issue we should address in the future.

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