From Hong Kong-based Ming Pao, via Duowei News, translated by CDT:
The once marginalized non-governmental organizations have undergone a profound transformation in China over the past 30 years. People actively involved in Chinese NGOs more than a decade ago were mainly retired officials, while nowadays more and more young elites have become full-time employees at NGOs and many white-collar professionals volunteer in these groups, said Kang Xiaoguang （康晓光）, a famous Beijing-based scholar and head of the NPO Research Center at Renmin University of China. Kang said there had been a very obvious trend of “elite-ification” of Chinese NGOs.
Elites Attracted by Increased Donations
Kang cited two main reasons for the phenomenon. First, NGO and other concepts have become much better accepted by the society, especially among the middle class with higher education. Young elites are willing to lend a hand to NGOs; Second, as Chinese companies prosper and wealthy Chinese flock to talk about charity and corporate responsibility, donations to Chinese NGOs from domestic sources have been constantly increasing and that has driven up the salary levels of NGO employees, attracting even more elites to join the cause. Overall, Chinese NGOs have made great strides in the past decade in staff quality, professionalism and governance.
The Government’s Stance: More Help, Less Trouble
However, the government’s principles for managing NGOs has not changed because of the nature of NGOs – an NGO is essentially an assembly that is capable of collective action and powerfully challenging the government politically. “The government’s rule in managing the NGOs has always been ‘offer us more help and cause us less trouble.’ NGOs need to be both exploited and reined in,” said Kang.
Kang said NGOs could provide badly needed social services the government was unable to dispense, such as in poverty alleviation, caring for the
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