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Empirical Analysis of Charitable Activities during the Wenchuan Earthquake: Telling the NGO Story

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image of The China Nonprofit Review

After the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, people started to pay more attention to charitable activities and to place high hopes in NGOs. Through an extensive analysis of surveys (including 465 surveys from individuals involved in the earthquake, 171 surveys from people who benefited from the charity work, and 60 surveys from the NGOs themselves), meeting notes, and interviews with involved groups and individuals, we found that most people were more than willing to donate their money and time to charity. Those who benefited from the charity work also reported high levels of satisfaction with the government, NGOs, and corporations. However, with respect to NGOs, there remains room for improvement in the areas of credibility, publicity, and transparency of information. Respecting people's distinct donation preferences, NGOs should seize this opportunity to expand the charity market and to educate and develop new volunteers. On the other hand, the government should use a service purchase mechanism to encourage NGOs' involvement in disaster area reconstruction. The government can also consider implementing measures to reward NGOs that were actively involved in disaster relief.


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