China's charity promotion goes digital: official

Updated: 2012-12-13 21:08


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BEIJING - The Internet has become the preferred platform for China's charity organizations to promote projects and for the public to offer support, an official said Thursday.

"Promoting projects online has been a trend among charity organs," said Zhan Chengfu, head of the social welfare and charity promotion department under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, at a Sino-Republic of Korea symposium on charity causes.

New media tools such as microblogging services and instant messaging tools offer charity groups lower costs, higher speeds and a broader scope in promoting programs and fundraising, Zhan said.

Meanwhile, the Internet and online payment technologies have lowered the threshold for participating in charity efforts, he added.

Free Lunch for Children, a project designed to arrange free lunches for students in China's underdeveloped regions by raising money online, was cited by Zhan as a example of successful microblogging-based publicity.

A survey conducted among nearly 1,000 charity groups in China found that more than 60 percent are promoting programs on the Internet and nearly 40 percent have blogs or microblog accounts.

Zhan said China's charity sector has entered a critical period in terms of modernization, and the country will further legislation efforts to facilitate the sector's development.