Charities could do better with transparency

Updated 2017-08-31 11:31:05 China Daily

On Tuesday, internet giant Tencent Inc organized a charity activity that allowed people to buy a piece of drawing online for any price higher than 1 yuan ($ 0.15). All the drawings were made by people with autism, cerebral palsy or dysgnosia and the money raised would be used to help them. The activity attracted millions of people, yet some doubt whether the collected money would be spent effectively. Thepaper.cn comments:

Tencent said its objective was to raise 15 million yuan, which it did within hours. In fact, the number of participants exceeded 1 million within half an hour, which suggests the charity activity was a huge success.

However, some have raised doubts over the effectiveness of the plan, a typical one being: How will the collected money be spent? If a person clicks and buys a piece of drawing, he or she will not find any link to get a clear idea about where the money will go. There is only one sentence in small-sized fonts: "We will help the patients enjoy art with the money."

Besides, there is only one obscure link to World of Art Brut Culture, which claims to be the executing organization for the activity. Yet WABC fails to explain how the money would be spent. It only claims to have helped more than 1,000 people with disabilities find peace in art, which is quite vague.

This is not to say somebody might misuse the collected money. But the charity organizations are obliged to clearly list how the money they collect would be spent. Researchers have long argued, that despite growing at a fast pace, China's charity sector lags far behind those in some countries in terms of transparency. Data show only 8 percent of the Chinese population has made charity donations-the figure will certainly rise with greater transparency.

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