Giving Compass' Take:

• Zhao Luyun shares trends in Chinese philanthropy based on the 2019 Forbes China Philanthropy List. 

• How can funders across cultures and countries encourage and learn from each other? 

• Read more about philanthropy in China

The second generation of families that became well-off during the country’s reform era is becoming more involved in philanthropy. Real estate developer Country Garden‘s founder Yeung Kwok Keung ranks No. 2 on this year’s list and shares billing with his family.

Though foundations are still the most common structure for donations, some families start to use a "charitable trust + foundation" duel system. Midea Group's billionaire founder He Xiangjian has set up the He Xiangjian Charitable Foundation, and has contributed 429 million yuan to establish a charitable trust, making it the biggest charitable trust in China set up with a cash donation. This duel system leverages the asset management capabilities of a trust, and makes use of a foundation for specific project management skills.

 Donations for education remain popular; donations to university education funds named after individuals or enterprises have become increasingly popular. These funds create an ecosystem that begins with research and talent training, and later feeds industry development. Students, universities and businesses all benefit.

Donation behavior between first and second generation entrepreneurs varies. Although first-generation entrepreneurs usually make bigger donations, most are not heavily involved in foundation management. Second-generation entrepreneurs, by contrast, are more likely to integrate philanthropy with their own business.

Impact investment is an emerging new part of of Chinese philanthropy. The Rockefeller Foundation in 2007 first coined impact investment as a novel investment concept, advocating that businesses participate in charity. In 2010, Morgan Stanley and the Rockefeller Foundation jointly released a paper, "Impact Investments: An Emerging Asset Class," that defined impact investment as a specific type of asset and highlighted its unique position in investment and charity.

Increased research into family philanthropy will help China‘s families rejuvenate themselves in changing times. Several weeks ago, I attended the "Double 70 Project“ seminar hosted by Tsinghua University´s Social Governance and Development Research Institute. The project will research 70 donation cases above 100 million yuan that were made during the last 70 years.

Read the full article about trends in Chinese philanthropy by Zhao Luyun at Forbes.