Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting involved in the nonprofit community in Beijing

January 5, 2011

Happy new year!  For those interested in getting involved in Beijing’s nonprofit, charitable community, but may not have the Chinese language skills needed to participate in Chinese NGO activities, there are a growing number of groups and events that seek to bring together both foreigners and Chinese in helping China’s nonprofit community.  The following list consists of organizations/events that I, or others I know, have participated in.  It is certainly not a comprehensive list, and if anyone knows of other groups and events that are not included here, please contact me and I’ll make sure they get on my next list.

Beijing Community Dinner – BCD was started in 2007 and has been organizing dinners every two weeks at a Beijing restaurant specializing in Chinese regional cuisine.  Interested individuals can go for a meal and hear someone from a Chinese nonprofit talk about their work.  Diners pay for the meal and are encouraged to add a donation which goes to the nonprofit.  BCD has also organized several fieldtrips to visit selected nonprofits in Beijing.

To be added to their mailing list, email bcd@beijingcommunitydinner.org.  Their website is http://www.beijingcommunitydinner.org.

Chi Fan for Charity – Chi Fan was started by Michael Crain to bring together local opinion leaders, celebrities and other individuals who get together to share a meal at some of Beijing’s hippest restaurants.  The proceeds go to local charities such as the Dandelion School for Migrant Children, Prevention through Education which works on HIV/AIDS awareness, and Rural Women.

To sign up for their events, go to: http://chifanforcharity.org/index.aspx.

Compassion for Migrant Children – this nonprofit was started by Jonathan Hursh in 2006 to help China’s urban migrant children by offering social and educational programs.  CMC has also started a collaborative network called the Migrant Resource Network to link together organizations and resources to benefit migrant children and their communities.  They offer numerous opportunities for people to get involved in helping migrant children ranging from paying jobs to volunteer and internship opportunities.  See their website at: www.cmc-china.org.

Crazybake – this nonprofit organization was started in 2004 by several expatriates who wanted to use baking to improve the lives of the mentally ill in Beijing.  The organization works with the Chaoyang Mental Health Center, a privately-run organization, to provide therapeutic work for its patients as well as a source of income.  They make delicious white farmer’s bread and sweet challah bread for 20 RMB a loaf, and bagels which cost 10 RMB for a bag of 3 plain bagels.  Those interested in purchasing bread from Crazybake can contact Natascha Prigge at 135-2089-3359 or email pils.prigge@yahoo.de.

Roundabout Charity Distribution Store -- Roundabout was started by Leslie Simpson as a way to collect gently used clothing and household items for redistribution to communities in need across the country. You can also shop their Shunyi store for paintings, sofas, and other secondhand treasures. Goods can be donated there or at their downtown drop-off location at Links Moving (9B, Tower D, Ginza Mall at Dongzhimen). Volunteers welcome.
  • Roundabout, Kaifa Jie, Xi Baixinzhuang, Houshayu, Shunyi, near Mrs Shannen's Bagels, Shunyi District
  • 顺义区开发街后沙峪顺义区
  • Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm
  • 13718 777 761 ( English ) 13718 053 814 (Chinese)
  • Website: http://www.roundaboutchina.com
Wokai Beijing Volunteer Chapter’s Drinks for a Better World (DFBW) – the Beijing Volunteer Chapter of Wokai, a U.S.-based nonprofit that does microlending in China, organizes a bimonthly get together called Drinks for a Better World in which people come together for drinks and to hear speakers on a range of development issues and social causes. 

To get on the mailing list for these events, email the Chapter president, Eric Pasewalk at epasewalk@yahoo.com.


  1. Great list. Thank you Shawn! I would also like to add 2 points: we have a weekly events digest for all charity events in Beijing or Shanghai so you never miss an event. You can sign up at http://tinyurl.com/25fwhze . Secondly we have an China online community hosting regular online discussions about social issues, netoworking events and trainings for social entrepreneurs. You can sign up at http://www.grou.ps/socialinnovationmeetup

  2. Andrea, Thanks. That is very helpful. I'll see if I can sign up now.


  3. Hi there, I am interested in working with the NGOs in China to serve as a temporary english teacher for two weeks. Is there any possible NGO that I can get connect with ? Please share with me about any information that you have. Thanks .

  4. I am a retired diplomat that is offering a course on diplomacy for non-profits. I'd like to offer it in Bejing; but need a contact who can help me with the details. For details on the course, see http://internationalorgs.wordpress.com/ Also see http://www.springer.com/public+health/book/978-1-4614-7112-7 which is the link to a text on diplomacy and negotiation for Humanitarian NGOs published by Springer. Larry Roeder

  5. Larry, sorry for the delayed response. I'm not sure what kind of contact you need. Do you need someone who can spread the word about your course? If so, then China Development Brief can help you with that by posting it on our Announcements page.

  6. Hi NGO Community- my name is Faith Brewitt and I am driving the RFP committee for Chi Fan For Charity in Beijing. Please share my email with all relevant NGO and non profit folks in Beijing because we are ready to share this year's RFP. Email faith.brewitt@havefaithinyourbrand.com