May 1, 2013 — On January 21, The Asia Foundation formally launched the Mainland/Hong Kong Platform for More Effective Philanthropy to strengthen the charity sectors in mainland China and Hong Kong. As mainland philanthropy grows rapidly, efforts to strengthen governance and improve transparency are becoming increasingly aligned with similar efforts in Hong Kong, where an already-vibrant charity environment offers many useful comparisons. In this context, this Mainland/Hong Kong Charity Platform supports a series of dialogues and exchanges among practitioners and experts on priority issues within their respective charitable sectors.
The Platform is led by an Advisory Council of mainland and Hong Kong philanthropic leaders, drawn from the worlds of business, academia, and civil society including Chien Lee, Asia Foundation trustee and a private investor based in Hong Kong (pictured at right), and co-chaired by Asia Financial Group President, Bernard Chan (pictured at left), and former Ministry of Civil Affairs Director-General, Wang Zhenyao. During its first year, the Platform will focus on steps to improve the respective charity sectors’ regulatory environments and on how charity organizations can advance self-regulation practices. At the Advisory Council’s inaugural meeting, members discussed challenges facing both charity sectors, particularly with regard to mutual needs and perceptions.