May 28, 2022

Reference: China’s Top 100 Philanthropists, Inaugural List and Data From Harvard’s Kennedy School

UPDATE: The full text report linked on the site will become available later today (Jan. 28, 2015).

The research comes from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School.

Background From the Harvard Gazette:

2016-01-26_12-58-10China has emerged in recent decades as a global economic powerhouse, so important that any slowdown in its economic growth or increase in its stock exchange volatility, as in recent weeks, can rock international markets. During China’s rapid rise, many of its citizens became fabulously rich. Yet little is known publicly about this first generation of self-made billionaires and how they are sharing their newfound wealth.

Now, researchers at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) for the first time have mapped the philanthropic activities of mainland China’s top 100 largest donors in 2015, examining not just who they are and how much they have, but in what sectors they made their fortunes, how much they give, which causes they support, and which areas of the country benefit from their giving.


Because China’s charitable world is still relatively new, recordkeeping of giving is scattered and there is little independently reported data, such as donor databases or IRS 990 forms to easily dive into. The researchers undertook a complicated verification process of the data using a mix of publicly available data, press reports, interviews, and other governmental sources.

More broadly, philanthropy in China is still relatively small. In 2014, giving as a percentage of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) was 0.1 percent. By comparison, in the United States, it was 2.0 percent of U.S. GDP. India gave a percentage four times greater than China, while Russia gave one-tenth of what China gave. “So there’s a long way to go for the Chinese,” as the second-largest economy in the world, said Wei.

Read the Complete Article

Direct to Interactive Report and Data: China’s Top 100 Philanthropist

This original database includes individual philanthropists giving in Mainland China between September 2014 and August 2015, the geography of giving and receiving, causes supported, industries represented, and level of generosity.

Note: This resource is also available in Chinese.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.