SSCLF's Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration
On the afternoon of April 25, nearly 300 caring people from all walks of life at home and abroad gathered at Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall to celebrate Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation's 30th birthday.
In addition to the SSCLF's directors and honorary directors, donors, volunteers, and recipients were invited to participate in the celebration event. Representatives from Japan Soong Ching Ling Foundation, America Soong Ching Ling Foundation, South Africa Soong Ching Ling Foundation, the Soong Ching Ling Foundation in Austria, Italy Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation and Switzerland Soong Ching Ling Foundation made a special trip to Shanghai to attend the celebration.
At this special event, the achievements of the past thirty years of SSCLF were reviewed. By performing an original ecological song, a minority girl's singing portrayed efforts to save endangered ethnic culture. Louise, an Irish volunteer, introduced how to go to the schools for children from migrant workers in Shanghai to teach the students English voluntarily for a long time. The Blind children's live performances of the non-visual photography project, not only showed the beauty of the blind children's hearts but also showed how can make dreams come true. Mr. Gao, China's first entrepreneur who donated all of his own businesses equity to the SSCLF, disclosed for the first time the inside information of building the foundation's catalytic function. Furthermore, Beijing Normal University Zhuhai Campus Party Secretary, Professor Tang Wei, told the attendees about the founding process of China's first undergraduate philanthropy management specialty in China. This was jointly established and developed by SSCLF, Beijing Normal University Zhuhai Campus and the China Foundations Center. Furthermore, those present were fortunate to enjoy the wonderful performance of the Czech National Opera Symphony Orchestra performing in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the founding of SSCLF.
The SSCLF is a public foundation that was launched in 1986 by the China Welfare Institute which was founded by Madam Soong Ching Ling. Seventy years ago, Madam Soong Ching Ling advocated and pioneered for public welfare while introducing key ideas -- "relief is not alms-giving" and "help others to help themselves." Today, both of these two concepts underlie China's growing public welfare industry. In the past 30 years, the foundation has abided by Soong Ching Ling's spirit of social welfare and has actively carried out various public welfare activities related to social development that mainly serve women and children throughout China. Nearly 100 public welfare projects have reached 31 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions, as well as countries such as Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and others. Its total accumulated income is RMB 887 million yuan, including an equity donation of RMB 286 million yuan and its projects' expenditure is RMB 286 million yuan. The SSCLF was recognized as one of the top 20 rankings for the Forbes Transparent Index for the first time last year, and in addition, has ranked first place in the China Foundations Center Transparent Index for five consecutive years.
In the past 30 years, the Foundation has worked steadily making progress one step at a time, from start to finish, transitioning from a traditional institutional foundation to a modern foundation of transparency, governance, and innovation. Its specific strategies include "win - win success through cooperation, multiple fundraising efforts, cross-industry partnerships, self-help funding ideas like matching precision to public welfare demand, and international operation management.
Multiple Fundraising Forms: Organizing public welfare activities, charity auctions and public welfare galas have become important fundraising forms for the SSCLF, which raised rmb 39.1 million yuan in 2015 alone. The SSCLF joined with network technology companies to build public welfare platform. In the network, more public welfare projects will be recommended to the public while the network becomes a new means of fund-raising. In 2011 the completion of the first equity donation not only enriched the diversity of the fund's sources, but perfected the foundation's catalytic function, creating a new case for building our country's public fund-raising efforts.
Self-Help Funding Ideas: The "Farmer Entrepreneurship Relay Baton" project was established in 2012. In the manner of "Teach one how to fish rather than simply give him a fish", a group of poor households with school age children were selected and given a loan as a starting fund for improving their production. Once these farming households had reaped good harvests and were able to send their children to school, the loans would be returned, and as a relay, the loans would then be given to another selected group of households. This sustainable mode of development will not only promote the local farming industry but also encourage migrant workers to return to their hometowns and engage in local farming entrepreneurship, thus resolving those left-behind children's problems. At present, the project has been implemented in Sichuan, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Guizhou and Anhui provinces.
Matching "Precision" to Public Demand: The sustainable development of public welfare projects must follow the adjustment of the national policies and the change of social demand, keeping pace with the times. By introducing the scientific evaluation method and system, we timely adjusted the project of "Safety for Mothers and Infants" to focus on comprehensive and healthy development of children aged 0 to 6. It has been an effective and successful attempt to matching "precision" to public demand.
Improve Project Research Effectiveness: Founded in 2015, the SSCLF-VIVA China Children's Cancer Fund aimed to raise funds to build a collaborative research platform to assist children with leukemia to improve their treatment levels. Shanghai Children's Medical Center coordinates a National Study Group of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) with the 20 participating hospitals in China. This is the first time for the SSCLF to fund the medical research project after we focus on the project research effectiveness.
Developing Cross-Industry Partnerships: The China Rural Children's Welfare Gala, sponsored by SSCLF and the Phoenix Network demonstrated the influential power of the media in spreading public welfare concept. Soong Ching Ling Education Center on Public Welfare, established by SSCLF, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus, and China Foundations Center, not only initiated personnel training in the field of public welfare but also noted similarities of Soong Ching Ling's public welfare philosophy with current charitable practices.
International operation and governance: SSCLF respectively set up the Project Advisory Committee, Fundraising Committee, Reputation Management Committee and the Director Nomination Committee. Standard operational procedures were developed to systemize the network. At the same time the SSCLF absorbs and learns from international advanced experience to improve its governance structure.
Our colleagues are not only directors, but businessmen and volunteers; not only the elderly, but the young; not only Chinese people, but foreign friends. With their support, expertise and participation, we have set up many acclaimed public welfare projects, such as "Safety for Mothers and Infants", "Soong Ching Ling Charitable Book Stack", "Mobile Children's Palace", "Soong Ching Ling Education Center on Public Welfare", "Bellflower", "Firefly", "Farmers' Entrepreneurship Relay Baton", "Children with New Kidneys" and others. We even have one project in which its founder has organized hundreds of foreigners in Shanghai to go to schools for children of migrant workers and teach the students English. This has validated the notion that public welfare has no boundaries. Indeed, helping needy people with enthusiasm is supported and respected no matter how old or young, how early or late, how big or small, or how expensive or inexpensive.
China's first charity law will be implemented on September 1st of this year. It will not only improve the status of charity industries in Chinese society, but it will also protect the development of philanthropy by law. It will have a profound impact on the development of China's charitable sector.