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November 26, 2011

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Grassroots groups to work with government

CITY officials yesterday pledged to make it easier to create partnerships between grassroots charity organizations and government departments or enterprises.

Some 78 grassroots charity organizations, 11 companies and seven governmental departments gathered for the Shanghai "philanthropy partnership" event.

Most of the organizations are small with low funding, so the event provides a platform for promoting their charity programs and getting backing, said event organizer the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

But some grassroots groups attending said what most concerned them was whether the government would form equal partnerships with them, as in the past they had found some government departments "bossy and arrogant."

Shanghai Wulixiang Social Service Center, a grassroots organization for public social service management, said it runs a program with Xinzhuang Town government in Minhang District.

Cooperation went smoothly at first, but as time passed, problems emerged.

"We had a contract signed with the town government," said Wang Zhiyun, a co-founder of Wulixiang.

"But gradually we found that an increasing amount of work was loaded upon us, which was not written in the contract. We felt under a great deal of pressure."

Wang said some officials like sticking to their administrative thinking mode.

Xu Zhongzhen, deputy director of Shanghai Community Development Study Association, said that the government needs to develop an equal partnership with the organizations.

Those attending are expected tomorrow to sign contracts on programs for the elderly and disabled and health and environmental protection, said event organizers.


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