原创哆啦A猫的大世界02-08 21:58
作者:Vivienne | 李季

摘要: 扫除慈善疑云,力辟慷慨之道。

From The Economist | Dec 19th 2015

Philanthropy 慈善事业

Panda power
熊 猫 的 力 量


Vivienne Yan




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? Scepticism about charity starts to give way to generosity.扫除慈善疑云,力辟慷慨之道。

1. THE feeding frenzy for the pandas comes at nightfall. People furtively approach them, pouring bags of old clothes down their gullets. By day, the trucks arrive to clean the bears out, leaving them empty for the next big meal. The pandas are plastic. They are large, bear-shaped receptacles, designed to entice people to donate their unwanted garments to those in need. First deployed in 2012, there are now hundreds around Shanghai, often placed by entrances to apartment buildings. They swallowed about a million items of clothing last year.

2. The procession of donors feeding trousers to pandas is impressive. But they usually do so under cover of darkness. Charitable giving is not yet a middle-class habit. Many people still feel awkward about it, despite their growing prosperity. China’s GDP per person is about one-seventh of America’s. But in 2014 Chinese gave 104 billion yuan ($16 billion) to charity, about one-hundredth of what Americans donated per person (see chart).

3. This is partly a legacy of attitudes formed during Mao’s rule, when the party liked to present itself as the source of all succour for the poor (to suggest otherwise was deemed counter-revolutionary). Even until more recent years the party was reluctant to encourage charities, worried that they might show up its failings.


4. The middle classes have worries too—that giving large amounts to charity may draw unwanted attention to their wealth. They do not want to fuel the envy of the have-nots or encourage tax collectors to pay them closer attention. The top 100 philanthropists in China gave $3.2 billion last year, according to Hurun Report, a wealth-research firm based in Shanghai. That was less than the amount given by the top three in America.中产阶级也有自己的担忧——大行慈善义举或许会让自己的财富被人盯上。他们并不想助长穷人们的羡慕嫉妒恨,或引起税务人员更近一步的关注。上海的财富调研公司——胡润百富(Hurun Report) 称,去年中国前100位慈善家总共捐款32亿美元,这比美国前三位富豪的捐款数额还要少。

5. In 2008 when a powerful earthquake hit the south-western province of Sichuan—the deadliest in China in more than 30 years—it seemed that one positive outcome would be a boom in charitable giving. Volunteers poured into the devastated region and donations filled the coffers of aid organisations. Problems soon arose, however. Embarrassed that private relief efforts were proving more effective than official ones, the government reined in citizen-led organisations.


6. A subsequent succession of scandals about mismanaged funds has not helped the growth of charities either. Even though most of them are well run, caution is sometimes warranted. Swindlers have even spied opportunity in the panda receptacles. Yuan Yuan, the organisation behind the pandas, noticed copycat ones popping up in Shanghai over the past year. Someone devised a scheme for using these as a way of conning people into donating clothes, and into investing in a business which would supposedly make money by reselling them. Returns of more than 10% were promised—much higher than on deposits in banks. Dozens of people fell for the scam, handing over a total of at least 3m yuan to the crook. They got nothing back.

随后,一连串关于基金管理不善的丑闻也阻碍了慈善事业的发展。即使大多数组织都管理有方,但是有时还是小心驶得万年船。骗子们竟然从熊猫捐物箱中嗅得商机。负责设置熊猫捐物箱的上海缘源实业有限公司(Yuan Yuan),注意到去年在上海出现了一些仿冒品。有人设计了一套方案使用这些假冒捐赠箱来诈骗市民捐献衣物,并以倒卖衣物牟利为诱饵来吸引人们对其进行投资。他们承诺这种做法可以保证投资者获得10%以上的回报,比存在银行里合算多了。许多人因此上当受骗,至少有300万元的资金对骗子拱手相让,而他们自己却一无所获

7. For Yang Yinghong, general manager of Yuan Yuan, this con was just the latest in a series of challenges. Lest people be tempted to put their refuse in the donation boxes, he came up with the panda design and made the animals translucent so that passers-by could see that clothes were piling up inside them. The pandas’ eye-catching visibility has had an unfortunate side-effect, however. Mr Yang says people prefer to drop off their donations at night because others may think badly of them for giving away perfectly wearable clothes.


8. Despite such middle-class diffidence, the proliferation of the pandas on Shanghai’s streets may reflect a growing acceptance of public displays of charity. The pandas are migrating around the country, popping up in cities along the coast and deep in the interior.虽然广大中产阶级依然对此有所顾虑,但上海街头越来越多的大熊猫捐物箱反映出公众对公开行善的接受度越来越高了。熊猫热正席卷全国,如雨后春笋般出现在东部沿海和内陆城市的大街小巷。

9. Big-ticket donations by rich business people are also becoming more common. When Bill Gates and Warren Buffett hosted a dinner in Beijing for China’s richest people in 2010, hoping to encourage them to give to charity, many billionaires chose to stay away (Zong Qinghou, a drinks magnate, said that philanthropy was just a way to dodge taxes). Some of them now seem less inhibited. In 2014 Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, an e-commerce company, created a philanthropic trust (the firm’s diverse interests expanded further this week with the purchase of Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post—see article). Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi, who are property developers, launched a fund to help poor Chinese students go to universities abroad.

富豪们大手笔捐赠的现象也日益常见。2010年,比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)和沃伦·巴菲特(Warren Buffett)在北京为中国富豪举办了一场慈善晚宴,希望借此鼓励他们参与慈善募捐,但许多亿万富翁都退避三舍(饮料业巨头掌门人宗庆后说道,慈善只是一种避税的手段)。现在,有些富豪已经没那么拘谨了。2014年,电商公司阿里巴巴的联合创始人马云成立了慈善信托基金(本周,该公司收购了香港的最有影响力的英文报刊——南华早报(the South China Morning Post——见文章,其多样化业务进一步拓展)。房地产开发商张欣和潘石屹也成立了基金会来资助中国的贫困学生到海外求学。

10. The China Philanthropy Research Institute estimates that fully 80% of donations by the wealthiest Chinese go to overseas charities. Many may well prefer to give to local causes, but regulations have hindered the development of philanthropy at home. To function as a not-for-profit organisation, charities must have a government partner, which entails the loss of their autonomy. It is also difficult for them to obtain tax breaks for their donors.

中国公益研究院(The China Philanthropy Research Institute)估计中国富豪的捐赠有多达80%都流向了境外的慈善机构。很多人可能更愿意捐给国内慈善事业,但是各种规章制度阻碍了本土慈善业的发展。慈善组织要想作为一种非盈利机构运营下去,必须要与政府合作,而这会剥夺他们的自主权。同时,他们也很难为其捐赠人获得税收减免。

11. But this will soon change. The government published a draft law on charities in late October. Under discussion for a decade, it defines charities broadly, and acknowledges that they can help improve everyone’s quality of life. The law promises to allow charities to register directly, rather than work through an official partner. They may also enjoy tax exemptions. Zhu Jiangang of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou says the law should help reduce the influence of government, and thus encourage charities to flourish. It is expected to be approved soon.但这种情况很快就会改变了。十月末,政府发布了慈善法草案。经过十年的讨论,该草案最终界定了慈善的广义含义,并承认慈善有助于提高人民的生活质量。该法律承诺允许慈善组织直接登记注册,不用经由官方合作伙伴运作,并享有免税政策。广州中山大学(Sun Yat-sen University)的朱建刚称,该法律会削弱政府的影响,因而能鼓励慈善机构蓬勃发展。预计该法律将很快获得通过。

12. How far the government is really willing to go remains in doubt, though. At the same time as giving charities more space to operate, it is cracking down on non-governmental organisations, wary of foreign influence. Until charities are allowed to develop independently, the wealthy who aspire to be more generous will have few options. Some quip that it is easier to make money in China than to give it away.




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