On July 16, 2013, The Golden Bridges Foundation helped to facilitate a dinner with the head of United Way and other prominent Chinese foundation leaders at The Sheraton’s Yue Restaurant.
This was the first time that the President of United Way hosted a gathering of Chinese foundation leaders. The purpose of the gathering was for the United Way to hear from the various leaders’ experience and knowledge in China to help them learn more about some of the newest developments in the sector and give a greater understanding of the opportunities, needs and challenges.
As the largest philanthropic support NGO in the world, the United Way is interested to play a helpful role in China. In China, the United Way has historically been focused on their partnership with the China Charity Federation in China.
As China’s nonprofit sector is developing and changing rapidly, it is not without challenges and great needs. As the United Way is based in Washington DC, it is not always easy to have a good understanding of the developments in China, reading news and holding conversations here and there.
The United Way seeks to be a value-added global leadership organization that serves as a connector and catalyst for nonprofit communities around the world. Under the leadership of the current president, the United Way’s focus is very much on impacting frontline communities and people.
However, without the right understanding of the landscape and frontline needs of the nonprofit sector, it is difficult to formulate a new strategy that aligns with their global strategy, the needs of existing partners and goals, and also strategically contributes to China’s sector growth.
The informal conversations and discussions during the dinner helped to give everyone more clarity on United Way’s latest business model, and also give their delegation a deeper understanding of China’s situation, and therefore will allow them to think about how to strategically and appropriately support and play a future role to strengthen the impact of China’s nonprofit sector.