Newsletter from the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG) at HKU
Issue 4, March/April 2005

- About CCSG and the Newsletter


Middle Class Most Generous in Giving
Middle-class people with an annual salary of between $400,000 and $600,000 are the most generous donors to charity, Inland Revenue Department figures show. Statistics also reflected that the rich were "less generous" in giving to charities than the middle class, the South China Morning Post reported on February 21.

Measures to Boost Donations Through Charity Flag Sales
In view of growing cuts in funding, flag days has become a major source of income for charitable organizations in Hong Kong, and over 200 organizations have since been applying for annual flag selling at the Social Welfare Department. In order to help increase the amount of funds raised by these organizations, SWD has set out various Flag Day Improvement and Testing Schemes, making more flag days and regional flag days available and extending traditional flag day deadlines for an extra 2 hours, the Mingpao News reported on Feb 9.

Habitat for Humanity Launched Hong Kong Chapter
Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong has launched and announced its Tsunami Rebuilding Program at a press conference on Feb 3, 2005.  HFH is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world.  It calls on the people of Hong Kong to aid in efforts to eliminate poverty housing and provide decent home for the people in Asia who lack permanent or proper shelter. 

¡§Ed Exchange¡¨ - Internet Fundraising Platform for Schools to Launch in April
The Hong Kong Insitute of Education will be launching "Ed Exchange" in April - a fundraising website for local schools in Hong Kong. With reference to the structure of the Stock Exchange, the website will help match prospective donors with schools in need, resembling a "eBay" for the educational sector. It is currently under testing by 24 schools and plans to match 800-1,000 education programs for the first year, the Mingpao News reported on Feb 1.

Government Established $200 Million Partnership Fund for Disadvantaged
To promote the development of a tripartite partnership among the Government, the business community and the welfare sector to help the disadvantaged, the Chief Executive has announced in 2005 Policy Address the setting up of a $200 million Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged. The Government will provide matching grants to donations made by business organisations to support non-governmental organisations (NGOs) promoting social welfare projects. Bona-fide charitable welfare NGOs having tax-exempted status under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance may apply for the Fund.

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Draft Report of Task Force Available for Comment
The Task Force on NGO Statistics and Social Auditing, organized by the Centre for Civil Society and Governance, has recently released a draft report documenting its findings on the state of NGO statistics production and social auditing in Hong Kong.  Recommendations on alternative mechanisms for improving NGO statistics compilation and nonprofit reporting and social auditing were made in the report.

Two Research Projects on Hong Kong's "Civicness" - An Update
The Biennial Opinion Survey on Civic Education (2004), which was first reported in the June 2004 issue of our newsletter, has been concluded recently. The survey was commissioned by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education and is one of the most comprehensive studies of national identity in Hong Kong.  On the other front, the Civil Society Index Project, another key research project of the Centre, is well underway. The Project's aim is to enhance our understanding of the values, structure, impact, and environment of civil society in Hong Kong. The next few months will see the completion of a few primary researches, including case studies of the impact of civil society organizations (CSOs) on public policy; media review of the activities of CSOs; and questionnaire survey of the operations of CSOs. Acknowledging the importance of the research objects, the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education has agreed to sponsor $300,000 for the Project; the additional funding will allow the Centre to extend the scope of some studies and go into more depth in others.

Researching Hong Kong's Arts Development
The Hong Kong Arts Development Council, formally established as a statutory body since 1995/96, is approaching its 10th anniversary, and recently commissioned the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong Branch) to conduct a research to review arts institutional and policy developments in the past decade, with an aim to publish the findings in a commemorate volume.  The Centre for Civil Society and Governance has been engaged by IATC to take part in this research project.
Prospect of Promoting Community Philanthropy in China
Following the promulgation of the new Foundation Law in China in 2004, the Centre's Research Fellow, Lusina Ho from the Faculty of Law, has presented a paper titled "China: Breaking New Grounds for Community Foundation?" at the Community Foundations Symposium, held in Germany in December 2004.  The topic has aroused great interest among the conference participants, and in January 2005, the Centre for Civil Society and Governance was engaged by the International Community Foundation at San Diego to evaluate the prospect of promoting the community foundation paradigm in China, and a legal analysis on the new Foundation Administration Regulation was compiled at the request of the US Foundation.

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Call for Submission ¡V 4th ISTR Asia and Pacific Conference

The 4th ISTR Asia and Pacific Conference on Third Sector will be held in Bangalore, India, in November 2005. The overarching theme of the conference is Civil Society and Social Justice.  The last date for the submission of proposal has been extended to 31 MARCH 2005.

Call for Participation ¡V The 34th Annual ARNOVA Conference
The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) invites participation in its 34th annual conference, to take place from November 17-19, 2005 at Washington, DC, USA.  The special focus area this year will be Nonprofits, Philanthropy and the Public Agenda: Linking Research, Practice and Policy. 

Upcoming Conference - The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University
18th Annual Symposium: Women and Philanthropy
The symposium, to be held from August 25-26, 2005 at Indianapolis, brings together scholars and practitioners for thoughtful discussion about Women and Philanthropy. For details regarding this conference, please visit the Women's Philanthropy Institute website.

Graduate Fellowships in Public and Nonprofit Financial Management
The School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech announces two new graduate fellowships in public and nonprofit financial management to begin in fall 2005, including a Three-year fellowship for Ph.D. student in Public Administration and Public Affairs or Environmental Design and Planning, and a Two-year fellowship for master student in the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public and International Affairs, or Master of Urban and Regional Planning. 

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Check out the following resources on civil society and governance:

Downloadable Documents and Resources
Check out online resources in relation to [Guides on Outcome Management], [Volunteering Toolkit], and [Government-Civil Society Policy Partnership].

Recently Released Books
Click [here] for descriptions for a list of recently released books:
- Losing Your Executive Director Without Losing Your Way
- Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals
- The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part II
- The Nonprofit Board Member¡¦s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy
- Community Visions, Community Solutions: Grantmaking for Comprehensive Impact
- The New Effective Voluntary Board of Directors
- Benchmarking for Nonprofits: How to Measure, Manage, and Improve Performance

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The Centre for Civil Society and Governance is a multi-disciplinary research unit established by the Department of Politics and Public Administration under the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Hong Kong. The Centre aims to enhance our knowledge of civil society - its nature, constituents, dynamics, roles, and in particular its contributions toward governance, and to foster the development of a vibrant civil society in Hong Kong, mainland China, and other parts of the world. The Centre seeks to do this through research, advocacy, and dissemination.

The CCSG e-Newsletter, first published in June 2004, is a quarterly online news bulletin which serves to provide a platform for allowing various concern groups to disseminate news about civil society development to local NGO practitioners. Through the production of the newsletter, it is envisaged that readers will be able to keep abreast with latest developments of civil society and governance around the world. More partners will be engaged in the production of this newsletter in the coming issues.

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