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Public demand greater transparency of charities following Red Cross trust crisis (2)

(Xinhua)

08:42, August 09, 2011

NOT ENOUGH INFO

Donations by individuals must exceed 100,000 yuan (15,500 U.S.dollars) and those by organizations must exceed 500,000 yuan in order to be disclosed on the website. The public has questioned the high threshold for information disclosure.

In addition, the website only features information on donations made after Jan. 11, 2010; information regarding donations to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) and the RCSC's local branches is not available at all.

A lack of transparency is common for Chinese charity organizations.

The 2011 Annual Report on the Transparency of Chinese Charities, released by the China Charity & Donation Information Center, showed that 75 percent of charities failed to properly disclose information about the use of project funds, operational costs and other information.

VAGUENESS IN VOGUE

The exact location and use of charity funds are often kept in secrecy by the country's charity groups.

One entry on the RCSC's website showed a 200,000-yuan donation by Hong Kong musician and actor Andy Lau; however, there is no information regarding how his donation was distributed.

On the official website of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), information relating to donation usage is either completely missing or is present in the form of vague descriptions such as "quake relief" and "education for orphans."

According to the 2011 Annual Report on the Transparency of Chinese Charities, over 90 percent of respondents said they had never received any feedback from charities after offering donations.

"I donated 2,000 yuan after the Wenchuan earthquake hit, but no one has ever told me where my money went," said Shanghai resident Gao Min.

Wang Zhenyao, dean of the One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute at Beijing Normal University, said the distribution of donations has to go through bureaucratic red tape, which results in a lack of efficiency and transparency.

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