Community Leadership: Best Practices from Community Foundations and Applicability to Chinese Third Sector Development

Hui Fang, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2011



China is experiencing rapid growth both economically and socially.  Being the second biggest economy in the world and having elevated 300 million people out of poverty in the past three decades, China struggles with pressing social issues.  As a result, the Chinese third sector faces unprecedented challenges.


While the Chinese third sector is challenged by increasing social issues, there is also a world of opportunities for the third sector to grow and develop.  There is increasing civic engagement in Chinese society, and the government is recognizing new roles of the third sector and opening up space for voluntary associations’ existence and growth. In this paper, Hui Fang explores how China might build a stronger third sector. Her investigation serves as a primer about the role and strategies of community foundations.


Community foundations have proven to be an effective philanthropic model in community development and in tackling social issues across North America and other parts of the globe. Hui Fang investigates how community foundations take on leadership roles in a variety of social issues.  Her case studies range from the South Korean Beautiful Foundation to Vietnam’s LIN Center for Community Development to the Florida based Dade Community Foundation. From such comparisons, Hui Fang proposes a series of reforms that could help Chinese third sector organizations adapt successful financial, service, and legal practices to new contexts.



To request the full version of the paper, please click here.