The State Council issued a circular on Dec 18, asking ministries and institutions under its leadership — and governments at provincial levels — to enable charitable organizations to better complement social assistance offered by the government.
The circular said that authorities should encourage charitable organizations to solve the most urgent issues that poor people have to tackle, and to serve as a supplement to social assistance, which is aimed at poverty-stricken residents.
The State Council said in the circular that “in addition to providing social assistance to ensure the supply of daily necessities for poor people, the authorities should also encourage charities to focus on helping the poor — in order to better meet various needs of these residents, help them lift themselves out of poverty and improve their livelihood. This will allow charities and social assistance to better complement each other — and together form a solid social security network”.
The authorities should also encourage various organizations to take part in charitable work.
Additionally, national social organizations taking part in charitable work should run the programs in a transparent manner, and abide strictly by rules and laws, focus their efforts on poor people — thus set an example for other social organizations.
Enterprises and religious groups and religious venues are also encouraged to do charitable work.
The authorities should support various forms of charity, including charitable performances, auctions and sales — and free medical consultations. They should also explore new kinds of donations, such as donations of intellectual property rights, technology, stock shares and securities — and try out pilot programs to run charitable trusts.
Individuals and organizations outside the government are encouraged to set up nonprofit facilities which offer services related to healthcare, education, elderly care and rehabilitation for people with disabilities.
Governmental departments should also set up more donation sites,
and take advantage of Internet technology to attract donations.
Civil affairs departments and relevant agencies should set up a platform where they can share information with charitable organizations, so that these organizations will be able to find people who need more help than social assistance can offer.
Such a platform should also share information concerning charitable resources for governmental departments to audit.
The authorities should implement tax deduction policies for enterprises and individuals who donate to charitable causes. And they should also aim to improve tax deduction policies applied to charitable organizations.
Financial institutions are encouraged to help charitable causes, and news media organizations are encouraged to charge a discounted price for publishing information related to charities.
According to the circular, the government supports the establishment of charitable organizations that focus on poverty alleviation, and will gradually ease the approval procedures required for newly established ones.
Additionally, provincial-level civil affairs authorities should gradually delegate the power of registration of charitable organizations to lower levels.
Local authorities should increase spending concerning the purchase of services from poverty alleviation programs — and they can also support newly-founded charitable organizations through venture capital.
Charitable organizations must manage themselves and their programs strictly in accordance with laws and regulations.
They should also improve their decision-making mechanism, as well as their mechanisms for implementation and supervision — and enhance internal control and internal audit.
Radio and television stations, newspapers and websites should verify whether charitable organizations are legal — by checking various records and documents — before publishing information on their platforms concerning donation initiatives of such organizations.
Charitable organizations should give invoices to donors, and offer clear and detailed information on how they spend donated funds.
They must also allocate the resources in a timely manner — according to agreements — unless there is a Force Majeure event or the donors agree to a delayed allocation of resources.
They must not alter the use of donations — unless they receive consent from donors.
They should publish basic information — such as their charter, registration number, information related to individuals in charge of the organization, annual work report, audited financial report, donation drives and programs — and how they have used donations.
They should ensure the information they publish is accurate and up-to-date.
Charitable organizations must not publish personal information or information concerning State security — or other information that is confidential or private, or that they and donors/beneficiaries have agreed is confidential. Governmental departments should monitor information that is kept secret from the public.
Civil affairs authorities should strictly conduct annual checks and assessments of charitable organizations.
And they should work with other governmental departments to investigate and punish organizations that violate rules or regulations.
They should also publicize the bad credit history of organizations or individuals in charge.