Tencent’s 99 Giving Day Kicks Off with New Feature As It Continues to Improve Digital Solutions for Philanthropy
The 99 Giving Day campaign was launched in 2015, raising people’s awareness of different social issues and inspiring people to give back to society.
To further boost the impact and scale of 99 Giving Day, the Tencent Charity Foundation ("Tencent Foundation") has set up a special incentive fund of RMB 100 million (US$14.5 million), supplementing the core RMB 300 million of matched donation funding, to support new and innovative philanthropy projects. The aim of this funding is to build a diverse, healthy and sustainable digital philanthropy ecosystem.
This year’s 99 Giving Day also introduced a new feature that allows users to co-create philanthropy programs with the Tencent Foundation. Dubbed "One Flower, One Dream," the new program will ask donors to vote for their favorite philanthropy projects by awarding “little safflowers” that they have earned from previous donations and charity quizzes.
"Over the past eight years, 99 Giving Day has grown through innovation, empowering hundreds of millions of people to get involved in philanthropy. It has become a platform for Tencent and netizens to take actions to social issues together," said Leon Guo, senior vice president of Tencent and chairman of Tencent Charity Foundation. Guo added that 99 Giving Day is dedicated to enabling ordinary people to do good together, based only on their generosity and goodwill.
The most important goal for this year’s 99 Giving Day is to deepen the interaction with users and empower them to “do good things.” The initiative aims to amplify their individual impact, helping to make philanthropy digital solutions more diversified, efficient and transparent. Caitlyn Chen, vice president of Tencent and head of Tencent's Sustainable Social Value Organization, noted that 99 Giving Day aims to "create the conditions that mean technology and goodwill can together sustainably tackle social pain points."
Everyone can be a Philanthropy Planner
Ge Yan, Secretary General of the Tencent Foundation, said that "One Flower, One Dream” aims to raise the public awareness of social issues and allow people to track the progress of projects and donations. “We see that the public are not only donors, but also planners. Companies that provide funds and the beneficiaries will make your dream philanthropic projects a reality.”
Starting in July, Tencent’s philanthropy platform began to collect the wish list from 7,000 users who submitted more than 8,000 philanthropy proposals. A total of 16 philanthropy programs have been shortlisted and will be launched during 99 Giving Day. These initiatives include supporting 1,000 children from rural areas to have easier access to museums, protecting the mental health of 10,000 children in areas with less infrastructure, and providing free hearing tests for 10,000 senior citizens in remote regions.
Users can also donate their little safflower to vote for their favorite project and receive their own "Little Safflower Kindness Certificate". When the number of little safflowers raised for a certain project reaches the target, the foundation will cooperate with industry partners to select suitable non-profit organizations for the implementation. The platform will regularly report back to the project’s supporters on its implementation progress.
With such efforts, the partners of 99 Giving Day has been growing fast. This year, the campaign gained more than 100 partners, including Pop Mart, OPPO, Jin Jiang Hotel (China), Club Med China division under Fosun Tourism, and Gao Deng Technology. Since 2015, hundreds of millions of netizens, nearly 7,000 enterprises, and more than 30,000 institutions have participated in the annual campaign.
On Wednesday, the Tencent Foundation held a "99 Giving Day" press conference in Hong Kong. This year, it joins hands with many charities in Hong Kong to do good work online and offline with local communities. Tencent Foundation will also work with local television broadcaster TVB to create a theme song of the 99 charity campaign in Cantonese — "Together for Good". The song was performed by celebrities and disabled musicians of the Hong Kong Inclusion Orchestra who jointly advocate the spirit of philanthropy.
Transparency and Openness Are the Lifeline of Philanthropy
Since its inception, 99 Giving Day has adopted transparency as its core principle. This year, Tencent's philanthropy platform set new participation criteria for institutions and projects. This threshold covers institutional qualifications, information disclosure, cooperation norms, and project viability to support the healthy and sustainable development of the industry.
Tencent has also helped donors participate in the implementation and supervision of philanthropy projects through on-site visits or online enquiries to support the openness and transparency. Since April, 97 public shareholders' meetings of philanthropic projects have been held. Philanthropy organizations use digital tools such as Tencent Meeting and Weixin Channels to communicate with stakeholders and release financial reports to disclose the use and direction of every dollar donated.
To help more partners develop in the longer term, Tencent Charity has launched a number of special projects such as the “Thousand and Hundred Plans” to support philanthropic organizations in cultivating professional talents. Tencent Tech Philanthropy has also created an inclusive digital toolbox for charity organizations, which will also be officially launched during the 99 Giving Day this year, providing the organizations with a number of free products and services to facilitate digital upgrades.
Since it began eight years ago, 99 Giving Day has become one of the largest charity festivals in the world, comparable with campaigns like Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Red Nose Day in the UK. 99 Giving Day has always adhered to the concepts of philanthropy for everyone, encouraging netizens to make philanthropy a national activity with easier access online, providing internet solutions for philanthropy.
During last year’s campaign, more than 68.7 million people donated RMB 3.57 billion. In addition to the donations, 10.97 million netizens participated in philanthropy through charity walks and other initiatives.
As of now, the total number of donations to 99 Giving Day stands at RMB 9.77 billion.