For Foundations

The unprecedented surge in Chinese foundations in the last few years has immense potential to drive the development of a healthy philanthropic sector in China. However, many issues that foundations typically deal withstrategic giving, effective governance, staff development, program monitoring and evaluation, and NGO development, among othersare all relatively new for most of these young organizations.

BSR is providing current and prospective Chinese foundations with strategic advice and effective models that allow them to support the strategic growth of a sustainable Chinese philanthropic sector via four components:

Chinese foundation roundtables

  • Foundation operations - sharing best practices and discussing challenges and solutions | in partnership with Cisco Foundation

A series of five roundtables in 2010 and early 2011 attended by more than 50 different Chinese foundations and related stakeholders that addressed five specific topics: The history and evolution of Cisco Foundation's strategy, scoping and identifying grantees, monitoring and supproting grantees, measuring grantees' impact, and perspectives from grantees.

In each roundtables Chinese foundations were able to learn from Cisco Foundation as well as Chinese speakers and discuss best practice. BSR is grateful to Cisco Foundation for their openness and willingness in sharing their experiences and challenges with participants, and to Cisco for the use of the TelePresence solution.

  • Corporate foundation roundtables | in partnership with China Foundation Center

A series of roundtables which will be held in late 2011 and throughout 2012 providing opportunities for chinese and foreign corporate foundations to share their common challenges and generate ideas for solutions.

Foundation demonstration projects

Through CiYuan, BSR is able to support certain foundations if they are one of our demonstration projects. This is defined as through BSR’s contribution, a demonstration project builds a foundation's capacity, serving as a model for others to learn from and aspire towards, and generates expertise, tools and resources for other foundations to utilize.

  • Our first project was working with Vantone Foundation

BSR helped Vantone Foundation to review its current eco-communities program model to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the program and the capacity of NGO partners to carry out the model, and developed a set of recommendations to strengthen the eco-communities model and the capacity of NGO partners.

  • Our second project is working with SEE Foundation

BSR is working with SEE Foundation to develop a strategy to better engage its donors.

Foundation development handbook

BSR, with three partners: Capacity Building Assessment Centre, the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University, and Social Resources Institute, has developed a comprehensive Chinese Foundation Development Handbook. This is the first practical guide for Chinese foundations to establish and manage a foundation. Incorporating numerous chinese case studies and reviewed by the leading experts in the field, the handbook was launched at the 3rd China Private Foundation Development Forum in late 2011. Click here for more information and to download the handbook.

We help foundations:

Connect with peers and international experts

Access new thinking and tools to increase operational and program effectiveness


BSR works with a number of foundations across the world on projects relating to women’s health, worker’s rights, water, and environmental health. Read more about BSR’s work with major funders.