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May 04, 2010




Issue you bring up is one that is going to be important going forward (for many of the reasons that you mention), but I have a bit of a different take on your read on the regulation.

First, while I know some NGOs will be hurt by the recent change, I see this new measure as one that shows not only a more mature approach to managing charitable donations, but should be seen as a step towards a regulation that has been "in process" for some time.

Before explaining why though, a bit of context. The last few years the NGO landscape has changed dramatically, and the landscape has moved from largely dominated by the GONGOs (gov't organized non-government organizations), to where there is now a core group of grassroots/ international NGOs who are becoming seen as service providers to local governments (Shanghai allocated 100m RMB for NGO/ Soc Entrepreneur services this year alone). Of course, geographic differences exist and growing too large are issues that remain in place, but the trajectory is pretty clear and there is real progress forward.

Progress that has lead to larger, stronger, and more registered organizations (at the city level), which leads ultimately back to this recent regulation.

While you can see my initial analysis of the regulation on my site, the law itself is simply a measure to make sure that funds are going towards NGOs who have registered in the system (which are for the most part the largest, strongest, and most trusted). And I primarily say that because the law is not applicable to groups that are registered, or who have partnered with the GONGOs, but are independent of commercial license and partner.

So, while I would agree that it will make it more difficult for NGOs in general (considering the vast majority are not licensed or registered with a GONGO), I would also argue that in some ways this is what is needed over the long term. This is a regulation that will push NGOs to find partners, to register, and to grow.

ALL that being said, I still stand by my analysis that this regualtion is not one that will be used to limit incoming funds (only the most high profile NGOs would be so closely looked at), but will as an after the fact tool that could be used to shut down offending NGOs.

With regard to remaining part of your analysis, I would agree that leaders need to begin making decisions, and the one I hope is made is to move away from consistently being event based organizations that have no core issue/ programs to ones that have strong cores built around a SINGLE issue or program. An organizational transformation that will lead to long term program and partner stability, increased internal efficiencies, and most importantly.. trust.


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